Russia and Assad Regime Denounce US Missile Strikes in Syria

The Kremlin warned that the attack would deteriorate “already deplorable” US-Russian relations.

US Navy/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Russia on Friday denounced a US missile strike that targeted a Syrian air base Thursday, describing the military action as an “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law.”

“This step deals significant damage to US-Russian ties, which are already in a deplorable state,” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said. He also accused the United States of acting on an “invented” pretext.

President Donald Trump authorized Thursday’s strikes in reaction to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on civilians earlier this week. The chemical attack killed more than 80 people, including scores of children, in the country’s Idlib province. Images from the attack drew international condemnation and are said to have spurred Trump to take military action.

Syrian President Bashar Assad echoed the Kremlin’s condemnation on Friday, calling the US missile strikes “reckless” and “irresponsible.” A statement from Assad’s office also denied the government’s possession of chemical weapons and said the accusations this week were part of a “false propaganda campaign.”

Trump’s order on Thursday marked a significant departure from the Obama administration’s policy on Syria’s ongoing civil war, as well as the president’s own noninterventionist position during the 2016 campaign. (Trump had previously said the United States had “bigger problems” than Assad and that the country “should stay the hell out of Syria.”)

Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate on Thursday, Trump said the air strikes were in “vital national security interest.”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate