In response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians earlier this week, Donald Trump has ordered 59 cruise missiles to be fired at a military target in Syria.
In an announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump said: “Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the air base in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”
Russia have responded to the US intervention by suspending its deal with the US that was drawn up in order to prevent mid-air collisions over the war-torn country. The memorandum, which was signed back in 2015, was intended to prevent incidents and ensure flight safety for both US and Russian pilots flying over Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is a long-term ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who the US are accusing of being behind the chemical attack. Russia believe the the US air strikes broke international law and have seriously damaged US-Russia relations.
A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry read: “The very presence of US troops and other countries on the territory of Syria, without the consent of the Government or the decision of the UN Security Council is a gross, obvious and unwarranted violation of international law.
“If before it was due to the task of combating terrorism, now there is a clear act of aggression against a sovereign Syria. US Actions taken today further destroy the Russian-American relations.”
The chemical attack on Syrian civilians left 72 dead, including 20 children. Hundreds more are still in hospital with life-threatening injuries.