No Putin-Assad Contacts in Plans Yet - Kremlin Spokesman

The US missile strike was carried out in response to a chemical gas attack in Khan Sheikhun that killed 70 civilians, including 20 children and 13 women.

Israel's prime minister welcomed the USA attack.

Washington said it fired a barrage of 59 cruise missiles at the Shayrat base in response to what President Donald Trump called a "barbaric" chemical attack on a rebel-held town on Tuesday that he blamed on the Damascus regime. He said he was grateful for the draft submitted by the elected members "because it's a clear attempt to find a common denominator" but he said it has to carefully studied in Moscow.

Turkey has repeatedly called for Assad to go while Russian Federation and Iran remain the president's most important allies in the more than six-year war.

Russian representatives had previously warned that a USA attack would lead to "negative consequences".

"This strike was very limited to one airfield, it was entirely appropriate, it's created to deter the regime from carrying out further chemical weapons attacks".

"The preparation of such a strike is necessary to conduct a large range of activities for exploration, planning, preparation of flight missions and bringing the missiles into full readiness for launch".

It's not clear whether the attack on the air base was the first of a broader campaign against the Assad regime.

In a statement released after the barrage became public knowledge Trump stated Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad "launched a awful chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent" and "ignored the urging of the United Nations security council".

It was unclear if that was related to the USA strikes.

Action needed to be taken, he added, "to make clear that these chemical weapons continue to be a violation of worldwide norms".

"Only 23 missiles reached the Syrian airbase", he said.

On Thursday, Mr Trump said that "something should happen" in relation to Assad because the chemical attack was a "disgrace to humanity". But, he added, "This was not a small strike".

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the targets included aircraft, structures, petroleum and logistical storage, and ammunition supply bunkers.

It is in this vital, national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.

That attack prompted President Donald Trump, on day 77 of his presidency, to dramatically shift USA policy, with the first direct US attack on the Syrian government.

U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the Nation Thursday night. "Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched", Trump said.

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Soon after the strike, Syrian forces described the act as "blatant aggression", and accused the USA of being a "partner of ISIS".

The statement described the USA attack as rash and irresponsible and showing Washington was "naively pulled behind a false propaganda campaign" - a reference to accusations that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack this week.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov speaks with The Associated Press in Moscow, April 6, 2017.

Russian Federation has provided military support for the Syrian government since September 2015, turning the balance of power in Assad's favor.

In a statement, the Turkish foreign ministry said Ankara would give its "full support to steps taken to ensure that similar crimes do not go unpunished and (that there is) accountability". Russia's Defense Ministry said the toxic agents were released when a Syrian airstrike hit a rebel chemical weapons arsenal and munitions factory on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed the US attack on Syria was a "violation of worldwide law." .

Eastern European leaders, who have been concerned about Trump's early overtures to the Kremlin, also embraced the move, which puts USA forces on a collision course with Russian firepower in Syria.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the upper house's worldwide affairs committee, said it looked like Trump may have been pushed into approving military action by the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies.

Trump's action has, however, angered Russian Federation which is fighting against the rebels along with Assad's forces in Syria.

The Syrian military officials had earlier claimed that the missile strikes had killed at least seven people and wounded nine others.

August 18, 2011: President Barack Obama calls on Assad to resign and orders Syrian government assets frozen.

Just last week, the White House backed away from the former Obama administration's stance that Assad must be removed from power. He argued Friday that the U.S. attack has "de facto served interests of the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations". "Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria".

Russian Federation has already rejected a Western-backed draft.

Discussions ran late into the evening Thursday, but no consensus was agreed and Council members departed, many looking tense.

"All responsibility, if military action occurred, will be on [the] shoulders of those who initiated such [a] doubtful and tragic enterprise", Safronkov said in response to reporters' questions.

October 14, 2013: Syria becomes a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, prohibiting it from producing, stockpiling or using chemical weapons.

But Dr. Annie Sparrow, a public health specialist and a critical-care pediatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY who has carried out many studies on Syria, told VOA Turkish service that a "chemical cocktail" was used on the town. He insisted they would never be used, "even against terrorists".

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