The U.S. attack on a Syrian airfield on Thursday will do significant damage to the relationship between Russia and the U.S., officials at the Kremlin said Friday, while the U.S. issued a statement saying that the attacks were a necessary warning shot.
The attack, which destroyed two warehouses, a building, a canteen, nine planes and a radar station, was in retaliation for an assault in Idlib Province on Tuesday. Chemical weapons launched by the Syrian government killed more than 80 people there.
Russia, which has backed the Bashar al-Assad regime in the country’s six-year civil war, reacted swiftly and pointedly, blaming the United States for attacking the country under a “trumped-up pretext.”
Here’s what Russian officials are saying Friday:
AP: The Kremlin confirms it received an advance warning from the U.S. about the strike on a Syrian base.
AP: The Kremlin says the U.S. strike on Syria is "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law."
Interfax: The Russian news agency Interfax reports that President Vladimir Putin considers the U.S. strikes against Syria to have happened under “a trumped-up pretext.”
The New York Times: Moscow has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
AP: Russia says it is suspending a deal with the United States intended to head off the possibility of conflicts between Russian and American pilots and to prevent Russian air defenses from shooting down U.S. aircraft, drones or missiles.
The Washington Post: Putin’s spokesman said the risk of confrontation between aerial assets of the U.S.-led coalition and Russia has “significantly increased” along the so-called "deconfliction line."
The New York Times: Russian officials say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did not bomb his own people with chemical weapons.
The Washington Post: “The Syrian Army has no chemical weapons at its disposal,” Russian spokesman Dimitry Peskov said.
The New York Times: Russian minister of defense Sergei K. Shoigu said Russia would bolster Syria’s air defense systems.
The Independent: The U.S. described the attack as a “warning shot.”
The Independent: Russian officials said Syrian air defenses would be beefed up after the U.S. strikes. "In order to protect the most sensitive objects of the Syrian infrastructure, a system of measures to bolster and increase the effectiveness of the Syrian armed forces' air defense systems will be implemented," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement carried on state media.
CNN: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was "indisputable" that the U.S. air strike "was carried out for the benefit of ISIS and other terrorist organizations."
CNN: Russian Sen. Konstantin Kosachev, who heads the Federation Council's international affairs committee, said the strike killed any chance of a U.S.-Russia anti-terror coalition in the region. "And it started so well, what a shame," he wrote Friday on Facebook.
Fox: Interfax news agency reported that Russian deputy envoy to the U.N. Vladimir Safronkov said Russia had warned the U.S. to "think about what military actions have led to in Iraq, Libya and other countries.”