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

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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.”

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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