Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued a statement today criticizing US airstrikes against Syria, saying attacks on the airbase were illegal and brought the US “one step away from military clashes with Russia.”
President Trump had been warning against Syrian airstrikes for years before coming to power, warning it could lead to World War 3 with Russia. There is growing concern on that front, as the two nations already had very bad relations, and Medvedev warned today the US-Russia ties were “completely ruined” after the attack.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for a meeting with his security council on Friday to discuss the US attacks, and potential Russian reprisals. Already, Russia is promising additional air defenses for Syria, and deploying ships into the region.
Russia also cut off the “deconfliction” communications with the US military to protest the attacks, which Kremlin officials are warning significantly increases the threat of military conflict. Russian officials are warning US strikes are benefiting ISIS and other rebel factions.
The centerpiece of President Trump’s foreign policy at election was the normalization of ties with Russia, and despite understanding all too well that yesterday’s attacks would likely ruin that goal, he ordered the attacks anyhow. Where US-Russia relations are going from here is unclear, but it will be hard to see them going in a positive direction any time soon.