The Independent is reporting a dramatic turn of events in U.S.-Russia relations. After Trump’s airstrike on a Syrian regime airbase in Homs last night, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it is suspending a memorandum with America that prevented military conflict between the two countries.
Under the memorandum, signed after Russia launched an air campaign in Syria in September 2015, Russia and the US had exchanged information about their flights to avoid incidents in the crowded skies over Syria — where Russia has several dozen warplanes and batteries of air-defence missiles.
The so-called “deconfliction line” between the US and Russia has been credited by a number of US pilots with helping keep them safe. While the US air campaign in Syria tends to steer clear of areas where Russia is in operation, ending such co-operation is seen by activists in the region as a worrying turn.
This worrying turn of events escalates tensions between America and Russia and directly endangers U.S. troops in and around Syria. Russia appears to be punishing America for taking action against its close ally, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, after the Syrian military launched a lethal chemical attack on civilians earlier this week.
The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement saying, “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.”
Hypocritically, Russia has been deeply involved in Syria, helping the Assad regime brutally slaughter civilians and commit a series of war crimes.
The situation is still unfolding. The Trump administration has yet to respond to Russia’s violent escalation of the situation in Syria. Is military conflict with Russia imminent? The chances seem higher than they have ever been.
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