US strikes on Syria came close to clash with Russia: Medvedev

Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the US military wants to continue to talk to Russian Federation.

Tomahawk missiles fired from the USS Porter and USS Ross struck the airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations on the air base, which the Pentagon says was used to store chemical weapons.

On the U.S. side, it is run out of the Combined Air and Space Operations Center at the vast al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which hosts the forward headquarters of U.S. Central Command.

A communication link between US and Russian military officials has protected pilots flying missions over the crowded skies of war-ravaged Syria, but now Moscow says it is suspending its cooperation over an American missile strike.

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To protect pilots, Moscow and Washington opened a so-called "deconfliction line" after Russian Federation began its bombing campaign in September 2015.

Russia President Vladimir Putin signaled he was ready to risk a clash with the US and abandon hopes for mending ties under President Donald Trump, rather than accept the humiliation of standing by while his ally is bombed.

Russian Federation and the US set up a special line of communication in October 2015 to avoid a confrontation between the two countries' forces.

Russia's President Putin said on Friday morning that the strike had "dealt a serious blow" to Russian-US relations. It said it would cut the hotline that was established after Russian Federation joined Syria's civil war in 2015 to help Syrian President Bashar Assad's government against opposition groups. Washington says Syrian government forces carried out a poison gas attack in northern Syria this week that killed at least 70 people. The U.S. used the "deconfliction line" to warn Russian Federation ahead of time that the strike was coming.

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"President Putin believes that the USA strikes on Syria represent an aggression against a sovereign state in violation of global law under a far-fetched pretext", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement.

Syrian state TV called the United States' Thursday night missile strike an "aggression", and that it "leads to losses".

Russian Federation also has important military facilities in Syria that could be put at risk if Assad is removed from power, a goal of Western powers that had recently been put on the back burner because of the focus on fighting Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq.

They said a drone belonging either to Russian Federation or Syria was seen hovering over the site of the chemical weapons attack Tuesday after it happened.

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Defense Ministry spokesman Maj.


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