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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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