John Stevens, Tom Leonard, Ian Drury and Nick Enoch — Daily Mail April 8, 2017
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.
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
The two old Cold War superpowers clashed at the UN Security Council where a Russian envoy claimed US ‘aggression’ had strengthened terrorism.
But Mrs Haley said the Russian government held ‘considerable responsibility’ for Assad’s use of chemical weapons.
‘Every time Assad has crossed the line of human decency, Russia has stood beside him,’ she said.