Having likely taken a lot of heat from none other than his chief of staff Gen. Kelly for his Wednesday morning tweet in which he rather explicitly revealed US military plans, stating that "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!", president Trump is backtracking this morning, and in his third tweet of the morning (after commenting on Robert Mueller and the "failing New York Times", and commending California Gov. Jerry Brown for sending the national guard to the border) Trump said that he never really said what he said. To wit:
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
While we are confident that Putin may have an objection about the "ridding the region of ISIS" part, the first part of the statement is only adding more confusion and has made Trump's initial threat even more nebulous, as now markets are worried about surging higher, well aware that risk-negative airstrikes on Syria are coming, but unaware when, which in turn prevents coordinated buying of stocks or other risk assets.
Of course, it may well be that Trump never strikes Syria as the US carrier Truman is roughly 2 weeks from the Syrian coast, which would mean that the UK, and/or France will be tasked with firing the cruise missiles meant to punish Assad for doing precisely the same thing he did last April when the US lobbed over 50 Tomahawks missiles at the Syrian regime.