DONALD Trump took to social media to taunt Russia, warning them to get ready for US missiles to be fired at pro-Assad targets in Syria.

The American president bypassed normal diplomatic channels, using Twitter to tell Vladimir Putin, that he should not have teamed up with “Gas Killing Animal,” Bashar Al Assad.

Trump’s outburst on social media came as an attempt to secure an international coalition between the US, the UK and France in response to the alleged chemical attack in Douma, looked set to falter, with neither Theresa May or Emmanuel Macron willing or able to jump in with America just yet. The SNP’s Stewart McDonald had earlier warned May that it would be a “scandal” if she took the country to war without the approval of parliament.

Trump was responding to comments by the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, who told the American that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down.

The President replied: “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

In an instant reply the Russian foreign ministry said “smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, and not elected governments”. Trump then, less than an hour later, suggested the US’s faltering relationship with Moscow was because of the investigating into allegations Russia had interfered in the election to his benefit.

He added: “Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this.

“Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?”

An hour and a half later, he tweeted: “Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!”

The Twitter row overshadowed reports from the UN’s World Health Organisation who said they had received reports that 500 patients in Douma had been admitted to hospital with symptoms similar to people exposed to toxic chemicals.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is due to send a fact finding mission to the rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta region, though it may still take a week to come to a conclusion.

Moscow calls the chemical attack allegations a “provocation”.

“Damascus has neither the motive to use chemical weapons nor the chemical weapons themselves,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “There is no proof of their use by Damascus.”

In his letter, McDonald, the SNP’s defence spokesman, urged “extreme caution on the UK government’s part in considering its response” to Trump’s request for support.

McDonald told the Prime Minister: “I am not convinced that the retaliatory airstrikes being proposed by the United States is a proper way forward. Though should the UK government wish to participate then it must only do so if the UK parliament gives its consent.”

Currently, the UK military involvement in Syria is linked to the “exclusive” targeting of Daesh.

McDonald said “it would be a scandal” if that changed “without a full debate and vote” in the Commons.