Friday, April 7, 2017

Russia Suspends Syrian Air Operations Accord With U.S. After Airstrikes

WSJ by  Thomas Grove and James Marson

Russia on Friday suspended a U.S.-Russian agreement on coordinating air operations over Syria in response to a U.S. strike on a Syrian airfield.
“The Russian President considers the American strikes on Syria aggression against a sovereign government in violation of the norms of international rights and under a contrived pretext,” the Kremlin said.

Russia’s foreign ministry called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council and said Moscow was suspending a 2015 agreement meant to prevent accidents above Syria which could threaten inadvertent close calls between Russian planes that support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and U.S. aircraft.

The U.S. military launched nearly 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian air base on Friday, responding to mounting calls for a display of force after this week’s suspected chemical-weapons attack in Syria.

Russian state television showed the first images from the Shayrat Airbase near Homs, where it said nine hangars were hit and nine aircraft were destroyed, while other areas of the base were left untouched.

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