Russia condemns US air strike, suspends deal on flight safety in Syria

Indo Asian News Service

Moscow, April 7 (IANS) Russia on Friday condemned US cruise missile strikes on a Syrian military target and suspended a deal with the US to prevent mid-air collisions over Syria.

"The Russian side suspends the memorandum on preventing incidents and ensuring flights safety during operations in Syria signed with the US," the Foreign Ministry said, after the US fired 59 cruise missiles at a military target in Syria on Thursday.

According to Moscow, the Thursday night strike would impair the already "deplorable" bilateral ties between Russia and America and hamper the "effective fight" against terrorism.

"We're urging the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the current situation," the Ministry said.

The US struck the Shairat military base in Homs province in central Syria, killing six Syrian soldiers and causing huge damage.

Russia also said the air strikes were planned by the US before Tuesday's toxic gas attack in Idlib.

Moscow and Damascus have termed the barrage an "American aggression".

According to US President Donald Trump, the strike was in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad-led government's chemical weapons attack in Idlib province that left dozens of civilians dead.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, citing President Vladimir Putin, termed the strike "an attempt to distract attention from numerous civilian casualties in Iraq".

"Washington's move impairs the Russian-US relations, which are in a deplorable state, substantially," Peskov said.

"Putin believes that this step does not bring us closer to the ultimate goal in the fight against international terrorism... It creates serious obstacles to efforts to forge an international coalition to fight against it and effectively counter this global evil," the Kremlin spokesman said.

--IANS

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