- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev denounced Donald Trump
- In the first direct American raid on Bashar al Assad’s forces, US President authorised the firing of 59 cruise missiles at military airfield
- Officials said it was retaliation for Assad’s use of chemical weapons
- US ambassador to UN: ‘We are prepared to do more but we hope that will not be necessary’
- Vladimir Putin has now diverted warship the Admiral Grigorovich to protect the Syrian coast
The Kremlin has warned the US it is ‘one step from war' over Syria - but the Trump administration hit back by saying it would be prepared to carry out airstrikes again.
In the first direct American raid on Bashar al Assad’s forces, President Trump authorised the firing of 59 cruise missiles at a military airfield.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev denounced the US for attacking ‘the legitimate government of Syria’ and for allegedly breaking international law without the approval of the UN.
Mr Medvedev said: ‘This military action is a clear indication of the US president’s extreme dependency on the views of the Washington establishment, the one that the new president strongly criticised in his inauguration speech.'
‘Soon after his victory, I noted that everything would depend on how soon Trump’s election promises would be broken by the existing power machine. It took only two and a half months.
’The last remaining election fog has lifted. Instead of an overworked statement about a joint fight against the biggest enemy, ISIS, the Trump administration proved that it will fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government’.
But the US President warned he would do it again after unleashing a surprise attack on the Syrian regime with a massive show of firepower.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (left) last night denounced Donald Trump for attacking ‘the legitimate government of Syria’ and said the US was ‘on the verge of a military clash with Russia’. Trump warned he would do it again after unleashing a surprise attack on the Syrian regime
Officials said it was retaliation for Assad’s use of chemical weapons and would ‘deter’ further atrocities. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that her country had taken ‘a very measured step’.
She added: ‘We are prepared to do more but we hope that will not be necessary.’
Vladimir Putin yesterday also denounced the US missile strikes as an illegal act of aggression against a sovereign nation.
The furious Russian president responded to the attack against his ally by diverting warship the Admiral Grigorovich to protect the Syrian coast and vowing to bolster Assad’s missile defences against further bombing raids.
He also suspended a military hotline known as the ‘deconfliction line’ which is designed to avoid mid-air collisions and confrontations between Russian and US fighter jets over the war-torn country.
Russia’s envoy to the UN called the attack a ‘flagrant violation of international law and an act of aggression’.
‘We strongly condemn the illegitimate action by the US,’ said deputy ambassador Vladimir Safronkov.
‘The consequences of this for regional and international stability could be extremely serious.’
Russia won support from some quarters other than Syria. Bolivian ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenti accused the US of being the ‘prosecutor, judge and jury’ in Syria.
The editor of the website AltRight.com, Richard Spencer, told of how he felt ‘shocked and angry’ at yesterday’s intervention.
The US has reportedly begun an investigation into whether Russia is linked to the suspected chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib, which Washington claims was carried out by Damascus. It comes after Russia condemned the US strike on a Syrian air base, which killed up to 15 people.
An unidentified drone, allegedly Russian or Syrian, has been spotted over a rebel-held town in Idlib province after the Tuesday incident Khan Sheikhoun, AP cited US military officials as saying on Friday.
The AP report comes amid an array of reactions to the early Friday Tomahawk cruise missile strike on the Syrian army’s Shayrat airfield near Homs, which US President Donald Trump said he ordered after Damascus “used banned chemical weapons.”
Despite no investigation into the incident, which Russia and Syria said coincided with the bombing of a rebel warehouse storing munitions and toxic substances allegedly used in the production of shells used in Iraq and in some previous gas attacks in Syria, the US and its western allies have jumped to conclusions that Syrian President Bashar Assad bears responsibility for “chemical attack.”
A stunning update on Friday afternoon from the Associated Press said the Pentagon is investigating possible Russian participation in the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons attack.
These officials also supported the dire suspicion that nearby hospitals were attacked to cover up evidence of the WMD deployment: