On Thursday night/Friday morning, in response to Syrian government killing hundreds of civilians this week using chemicals, dozens of cruise missiles were fired from two American warships stationed in the Mediterranean Sea towards Shayrat airbase in the province of Homs,Syria, killing at least six of Bashar al-Assad’s troops and destroying planes, helicopters, ammunition stores and buildings.
Now, in response to what Russia has termed ‘unlawful’, the Russian government has announced that henceforth it has suspended the “deconfliction line” agreement signed in 2015 that prevents direct conflict/confrontation between Russian and American forces on air.
The development, is not a good sign for both countries, because under the agreement, signed after Russia launched an air campaign in Syria in September 2015, a Russian fighter jet couldn’t clash with an American fighter jet as both Russia and the US had exchanged information about their flights to avoid incidents on air.
But as it stands now, a Russian jet could clash with an American jet in the ever busy Syrian airspace- leading to a possible war.
Following Donald Trump’s much praised attacks on the Syrian military base, Russia has not only criticized the U.S for disobeying International law, but has also said they will need a very good explanation from the U.S or else the Russia-U.S relationship will deteriorate further.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, condemned the US strikes.
A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry read:
“The very presence of US troops and other countries on the territory of Syria, without the consent of the Government or the decision of the UN Security Council is a gross, obvious and unwarranted violation of international law.
“If before it was due to the task of combating terrorism, now there is a clear act of aggression against a sovereign Syria. US Actions taken today further destroy the Russian-American relations.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said;
‘Moscow demands an explanation from the US over the air strikes,The attack is an act of aggression with an invented pretext. We hope the provocation would not lead to irreparable damage to our ties ”
The U.S attack missiles targeted “aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars,” according to the Pentagon news release.