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>> Russian President Vladimir Putin believes a US missile strike on a Syrian air base has seriously hurt US-Russia relations. News agencies Friday citing the Kremlin as saying Putin, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saw it as aggression against a sovereign nation, on a quote, made-up pretext.
US President Donald Trump launched nearly 60 cruise missiles in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack that he blamed on Assad's government, raising fears Washington is now set on a collision course with Moscow and Iran. Tehran, also a friend to Assad, calling the missile strike dangerous and destructive.
Washington's allies, though, welcoming the strike on an air base Trump said was used to launch the attack. A senior Russian lawmaker also saying Friday that US-Russian cooperation on fighting Islamic State in Syria is now in doubt, Russia calling for an urgent UN Security Council meeting. Assad's fortunes have turned since Moscow brought the might of its air force to his side in the conflict, a string of victories ensuing, including the recapture of the second largest city of Aleppo in December.
Assad sounding confident in a newspaper interview published Thursday, that victory was his only option.