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syria strike

Russia says U.S. missile strike on Syria causes 'significant damage' to Russian-American relations

President Trump's decision to fire 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase early Friday "causes significant damage to Russian-American relations, which were already in a deplorable state," said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that Putin sees the airstrikes as a violation of international law.

The missile launch came in response to a chemical attack on Tuesday that killed more than 70 people in Idlib. The U.S. has blamed the attack on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but the Syrian government denies using chemical weapons against its own people, and Russia, one of Syria's allies, backs up that claim.

On Friday morning, Russia condemned the U.S. missile attack and also said it was suspending a deal with the U.S. originally meant to prevent mid-air collisions between U.S. and Russian aircraft flying over Syria.

With Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expected to make his first state visit to Moscow next week, the growing tension between Russia and the U.S. could "crush remaining hopes in the Kremlin Donald Trump's presidency could offer a chance to improve bilateral relations," the Financial Times reports. Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of Parliament, said Russia may even consider suspending all military contacts with the U.S.

"There had been the hope that we will have it easy with Trump, but nothing will be easy, it will be very hard," Yelena Suponina, adviser to the director of the think tank Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, said on state TV. "It turns out that there will be a lot of unpredictability. It is very, very dangerous."