United States fires missiles at Assad airbase; Russian Federation denounces 'aggression'

In a joint statement, the duo said, "Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action".

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev complained on Friday that US cruise missile strikes on a Syrian airbase were one step away from clashing with the Russian military.

The War Powers Resolution, enacted in 1973, long after American troops began fighting in Vietnam, required the president to consult with Congress before sending US armed forces into combat unless there already had been a declaration of war. However, in reaction to the USA strike, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it was withdrawing from the deconfliction agreement (though some say that was little more than a move to save face, since the extent to which the agreement affects how Russia and the United States navigate airspace is arguably quite limited). Later, he added that Russian Federation "sits here today, humiliated by its failure to bring to heel a puppet dictator". Others said the USA attack was no surprise and vowed to stand up to Washington.

Trump had said the attack crossed "many, many lines", and put the blame squarely on Assad's forces.

Syria lashed back at the US, with the office of President Bashar al-Assad calling the attack, "reckless" and "irresponsible", according to media reports.

Canadian officials say the federal government will have more to say today about an American missile attack on Syria in retaliation for this week's chemical weapons attack which killed at least 80 people.

"The United States will no longer wait for Assad to use chemical weapons without any consequences", Haley said. The U.S. missiles hit at 8:45 p.m.in Washington, 3:45 Friday morning in Syria.

The Syrian state news agency reported Friday that US missile strikes killed nine civilians, including four children, in villages near the airbase targeted by 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Russia's backing for the Assad regime goes back to the 1960s, when the current president's father led Syria.

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"The OPCW can not and will not release information about an on-going investigation", the organization said in an update on Friday.

President Barack Obama never launched Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian government airfield, but even his drone strikes in the region were legally flimsy.

Khan Shaykhun is roughly 60 miles from the Turkish border.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said via state-run TASS media that the cruise missile strike was reminiscent of 2003, when the US led an invasion of Iraq "without the consent of the U.N. Security Council and in violation of global law".

When asked whether Russian Federation had deactivated its own anti-missile defense systems in Syria before the missile strike, Peskov declined to comment. He also accused nongovernmental organizations of staging incidents to prompt a move against the Syrian government.

The U.S. missile strikes Thursday on a Syrian air base were conducted without formal congressional approval.

The Russian Defense Ministry also announced plans to bolster the effectiveness of its air defense system in Syria. The missiles were directed at the Shayrat airfield, believed by the USA to be the base for warplanes that carried out the chemical attack on a rebel-held town in Idlib on Tuesday.

Media captionThe Pentagon has released video of missiles being launched from US Navy ships, targeted at a Syrian airfield.

Up to now, USA actions have targeted the Islamic State (ISIS), whose self-styled capital is in Raqqa, Syria.

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