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Russia says U.S. airstrikes break international law, denies Assad's guilt

Russian President Vladimir Putin decried a U.S. attack on Syria over alleged chemical bombings on civilians this week. (Yuri Kochetkov/AFP/Getty Images

The Russian Federation responded promptly to the U.S. airstrikes in Syria Thursday, accusing America of attacking under "invented pretext" in order to deflect from the casualties in Iraq. The Kremilin also claimed the U.S. bombing was in violation of international law.

"Reaction to what has happened from the Kremlin," Sky News reported. "It says the airstrikes violate international law, they were carried out on an invented pretext, and they're also saying that President [Vladimir] Putin sees the airstrikes as an attempt to distract the world from the many civilian deaths in Iraq."

A recent military operation in Mosul, Iraq is under investigation for causing what many claimed were a disproportionate number of civilian casualties. Others claim that the casualties were not caused by the U.S.-led forces, but rather by booby traps set by Islamic State militants.

"President Putin has also said the strikes are a serious obstacle to the creation of an international coalition to fight terrorism," the report continued. "The Kremlin is also saying the Syrian army does not have any chemical weapons, and the strikes do significant damage to U.S.-Russian ties."

The U.S. airstrikes were ordered by President Donald Trump Thursday in response to a horrible chemical weapon attack in northeastern Syria that has been attributed to forces defending Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. officials say they have strong evidence to prove the chemical attack originated from Assad's forces, while the Russian-backed leader denies the allegation. Both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump vehemently claimed Assad was guilty of the gas bombing.

The attack targeted the Syrian airbase from which the chemical attack originated. Trump ordered 50-60 tomahawk missiles be fired in an airstrike to retaliate against the use of chemical weapons. He explained his rationale in a video message released Thursday.

Trump had said earlier that the images of the chemical attacks had troubled him so much that he was changing his policy repeated during the campaign of staying out of Syria.

“It crossed a lot of lines for me,” Trump told reporters. “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. Many, many lines.”

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