The Kremlin on Friday made its first comment after the United States' missile strikes on the Syrian airbase on Thursday, stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the strikes on Syria as an act of "aggression against a sovereign state."
The US strikes came after the horrific chemical attack on the residential part of Syria's Khan Sheikhun killed 70 civilians, including 20 children and 13 women. Many others in the attack were left with respiratory problems and faced symptoms like vomiting, fainting and foaming at the mouth. Autopsies conducted on the bodies confirmed the presence of a chemical agent.
The US missile strikes were reportedly conducted on the same base from where the chemical attack was launched on civilians in Syria's Idlib.
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The US launched at least 50 Tomahawk missiles, which hit an airbase in the Homs region of Syria. The assault resulted in the death of at least six people, according to Syrian authorities.
Blow to Russia-America relationship
Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov made an angry statement soon after the US missile strikes, stating that the Russian president sees the strikes on Syria as "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law, and under a false pretext."
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Peskov defended Syria by stating that the Bashar al-Assad-led government in the nation has no chemical weapons and that their destruction has been monitored by international observers. The Kremlin spokesperson also said that US President Donald Trump's move would affect the Russia-America relationship.
"With this step Washington has struck a significant blow to Russian-American relations, which were already in a sorry state," Peskov said.
Donald Trump confirms US attacks, urges nations to join him
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Donald Trump late on Thursday confirmed the US attack on Syrian airbase, urging other nations to join him.
"On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless mean, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack," Trump said.
"Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital, national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council."
Communication between US and Russia before strikes
The Pentagon on Thursday said that communication between the US and Russia took place before the missile strikes through the "deconfliction line," which is controlled by the US military and operates out of the al-Udeid airbase in Qatar.
According to the Associated Press, the "deconfliction line" is typically used to protect pilots from both countries as they fly sorties over Syria, to ensure that neither party attacks each other, and also to avoid any possibility of collisions.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the Russians were informed of the imminent strikes in "multiple conversations" through the deconfliction line on Thursday.