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US officials say military hotline with Russia remains open


Russia said it was revoking a non-aggression pact with the USA, which allowed U.S. planes to fly in the same airspace as Russian planes in north Syria, after the United States launched cruise missiles against a Syrian military airport for the first time. The United States blasted the air base with a barrage of cruise missiles on Friday, April 7, 2017 in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians.

The strike, consisting of 59 tomahawk missiles fired from two US destroyers, was in response to Syria's use of chemical weapons against civilians on Tuesday.

The Pentagon urged Russian Federation to keep military channels open Friday after Moscow said it was going to hang up a vital hotline established to avoid mishaps between the two powers in Syria.

In Moscow, the Russian government on Friday announced its own swift response to the American intervention against its Arab ally.

The U.S. strike reportedly killed at least seven people and is the first direct American assault against Assad's government. It said it would cut the hotline that was established after Russian Federation joined Syria's civil war in 2015 to help Syrian President Bashar Assad's government against opposition groups.

Moscow and Washington opened the hotline in 2015 after Russia intervened militarily in Syria as a way to ensure Russian and us planes conducting combat missions in Syria's skies don't stumble into an accident or confrontation. The Russians said they would.

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The Syrian army said the US attack killed six people and called it "blatant aggression" which made the United States a partner of "terrorist groups" including Islamic State.

President Trump authorized a missile launch into Syria late Thursday in response to a chemical attack earlier this week that USA and other Western officials believe was conducted by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The U.S. used the "deconfliction channel" to warn Russian Federation ahead of time that Thursday's strike was coming, Dorrian said.

"President Putin views the USA strikes on Syria as aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of worldwide law and on a made-up up pretext", said a Kremlin statement.

"This step by Washington inflicts considerable damage to US-Russia relations, which are already in a lamentable state", he said.

Tillerson said Russian Federation had "failed in its responsibility" to deliver on a 2013 deal it helped broker to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal. It could even put the two nuclear superpowers on a course toward military confrontation. Russian Federation still has several dozen warplanes and batteries of air defense missiles at its base near Latakia, Syria.

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