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Crisis in Syria

Pentagon: Russia alerted in advance of Syria strike

The Pentagon announced Thursday night that Russia, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's allies, was notified before the U.S. launched nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles against an airfield near Homs, Syria.

Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said Russia was alerted via the established deconfliction line, and "U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield." The strike was a "proportionate response" to the chemical weapons attack on Tuesday in Idlib, Syria, which killed dozens of people and injured hundreds more, Davis said; the Syrian government has denied being responsible for the assault. U.S. intelligence has concluded that the airfield was the base where the planes that carried out the attack took off from, he added, and is also where Assad's chemical weapons are stored.

Davis said early indications are that the strike "severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment" at the airfield, "reducing the Syrian government's ability to deliver chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated."