04:06 GMT +321 October 2019
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    A child runs along a street in front of clouds of smoke billowing following a reported air strike on Douma, the main town of Syria's rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta

    US Contacted Russia Before Striking Syria to Avoid Casualities - Envoy to Moscow

    © AFP 2019 / Hasan Mohamed
    Middle East
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    On Saturday night, the US jointly with the UK and France conducted punitive missile strikes at several targets in Syria, the attack, according to the Syrian General Staff, injured three people.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States communicated with Russia before launching strikes on Syria on Saturday to reduce the risk of killing Russian servicemen, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said.

    "Before we took action the United States communicated with the Russian Federation to reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties," Huntsman said.

    The United States would still welcome possible cooperation with Russia on Syria but wants Moscow to condemn alleged chemical attacks committed by Damascus, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said.

    READ MORE: China Urges Parties to Syrian Conflict to Return to Norms of Int'l Law

    "We would still welcome cooperation with Russia that will do the right thing and join the rest of the world in condemning the Assad regime for its horrific actions and ensuring they cannot happen again," Huntsman said.

    Earlier on Saturday, United States President Donald Trump Trump addressed the nation announcing military strikes in Syria in cooperation with France and Great Britain aimed at deterring further chemical attacks, with over 100 missiles targeting various facilities in Syria. The cause of the punitive strikes were unverified reports on an alleged chemical attack in Douma, blamed on the Syrian Government.

    The US-led military actions have been welcomed by its allies, including Israel and Germany. Turkey joined as well, describing the attack against the Syrian government as an "appropriate" response. 

    Other countries strongly condemned the assault, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling it an "act of aggression against a sovereign state that has been fighting against terrorism" and Iranian supreme leader slamming US President Trump, French President Macron and UK Prime Minister May as "criminals." 


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