Washington: American officials notified Russia before the U.S. military launched a missile strike against Syria, the Pentagon said Thursday.
The strike, which was launched early Friday, local time, was in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack tied to the Syrian government earlier in the week.
“Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line,” Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement. “U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.”
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Russia is a supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. However, in the wake of the chemical attack, which killed dozens of civilians, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s support for Assad is “not unconditional.”
Syria responded to the attack with a brief message of its own.
According to Reuters, Syrian state TV said that “American aggression” had targeted a Syrian military base with “a number of missiles.”
Meanwhile Syrian opposition forces cheered the attack and called for continued action against Assad, AFP reported.