The United States had notified Russia before it launched dozens of missiles on Syria, said a Pentagon official on Thursday.

A Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet lands at the Hmeymim air base near Latakia, Syria, in this handout photo
A Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet lands at the Hmeymim air base near Latakia, Syria, in this handout photo
“Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line,” said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis in a statement.

“U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield,” he said, hinting a Russian military presence at the Shayrat airport which was pounded by 59 Tomahawk missiles.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blamed Russia for being unable to prevent a chemical weapon attack that took place earlier this week, saying the U.S. attack was in reaction to the brutal attack.

“Either Russia’s been complicit or Russia’s been incompetent in its ability to deliver” removal of chemical weapons, Tiller said in a briefing.

The United States launched 59 Tomahawks at the Shayrat Airport in central Syria late Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed, saying the strike was intended to deter the Syrian government from using chemical weapons again.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said early on Thursday that the Syrian airstrike on a rebel-held town in Idlib province in northwestern Syria struck a rebel depot containing chemical materials, denying that the air force fired toxic gas during the attack.

Calling some reports about the attack “lies”, he said it’s not logical to use chemical weapons at a time when the Syrian government was optimistic that the international community was getting closer to realizing the size of conspiracy against Syria. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh