Russian Federation closes communication channels with the USA in Syria

This satellite image released by the U.S. Department of Defense shows a damage assessment image of Shayrat air base in Syria, following U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strikes on Friday, April 7, 2017 from the USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Porter (DDG 78), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.

"The Trump administration proved it will fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government, in a tough contradiction with worldwide law and without United Nations approval, in violation of its own procedures stipulating that the Congress must first be notified of any military operation unrelated to aggression against the U.S".

Russia has not suspended a military communications channel meant to help US and Russian forces to avoid inadvertent clashes in Syria, despite a USA cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase that has angered Moscow, senior USA officials said on Friday.

In Moscow, the Russian government on Friday announced its own swift response to the American intervention against its Arab ally.

The U.S. says a sarin-like nerve agent was used.

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Russia's decision to suspend the hotline established after the launch of the Russian air campaign in Syria in September 2015 effectively means that Russian and USA planes could fly dangerously close to each other during combat missions, raising the risk of inadvertent or deliberate clashes in the crowded skies over Syria. And the Kremlin says Syria's government wasn't responsible. Russian Federation is waging its own bombing campaign in support of President Bashar Assad's forces, while the Syrian government has its own air force and air defense systems. "It is to the benefit of all parties operating in the air over Syria to avoid accidents and miscalculation, and we hope the Russian Ministry of Defense comes to this conclusion as well", Baldanza said. The U.S. says that arsenal was tapped for a chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

"President Putin believes that the USA strikes on Syria represent an aggression against a sovereign state in violation of global law under a far-fetched pretext", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement.

The Kremlin also announced it was immediately suspending its air safety agreement with the U.S. in response to missile strikes on a Syrian air base. "Washington's move deals a significant blow to Russia-U.S. relations, which are already in deplorable shape".

The U.S. used the "deconfliction channel" to warn Russian Federation ahead of time that Thursday's strike was coming, Dorrian said.

Tillerson said Russian Federation had "failed in its responsibility" to deliver on a 2013 deal it helped broker to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal. Russian Federation still has several dozen warplanes and batteries of air defense missiles at its base near Latakia, Syria.

  • Adam Floyd