'Missile strikes in Syria a serious blow to US-Russia relations'

Russia suspends information-sharing agreement with US, calls strikes 'act of aggression', says they 'destroy' future of US-Russia relations.

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David Rosenberg, | updated: 12:50

Russian President Vladimir Putin, April 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin, April 2017
REUTERS

The Kremlin blasted US missile strikes Thursday night against a Syrian airbase which Western intelligence officials claim was used as a staging ground for the sarin gas attack outside of Idlib Tuesday which killed as many as 100 people.

Overnight, two US guided missile destroyers fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Al Shayrat airbase in Syria.

"A total of 59 [missiles] targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars," said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

Syrian officials claimed Friday that seven people had been killed in the attack, with another nine wounded.

In a formal statement Friday morning, the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the strikes as an “act of aggression”, and warned that the move damaged US-Russian relations.

"The very presence of US troops and other countries on the territory of Syria…is a gross, obvious and unwarranted violation of international law.”

"[This] is a clear act of aggression against a sovereign Syria. US Actions taken today further destroy the Russian-American relations."

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that no evidence existed linking the Assad regime to the sarin gas attack, calling the accusations “unfounded”.

Following the strikes, the Kremlin announced it was suspending a 2015 information sharing agreement with the US, intended to prevent accidents between US and Russian forces inside Syria.

Prior to the missile strikes, the US notified Russia of the impending attack under the terms of the 2015 memorandum.