May Bulman — The Independent April 7, 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned US cruise missile strikes on a Syrian government military target, saying they broke international law and have seriously damaged US-Russia relations.
The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr Putin, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, viewed the action taken by Donald Trump as an “act of aggression” against a sovereign state on a “made-up pretext” to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq.
“Putin views the US strikes on Syria as aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law and on a made-up up pretext. Washington’s step will inflict major damage on US-Russia ties,” Mr Peskov was cited as saying.
He added that Russia did not believe Syria possessed chemical weapons and that the air strikes would inevitably create a serious obstacle to creating an international coalition to fight terrorism.
Mr Trump ordered the firing of 59 cruise missiles at a military target in Syria on Thursday in a swift retaliatory blow for Mr al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in rebel-held town Idlib earlier this week.
The White House described the cruise missile strikes launched from US ships in the Mediterranean as a “warning shot” that was “necessary and appropriate” after the alleged chemical weapons attack.