Russia just suspended key military agreements with the US -- raising the risk of war

Following the US’s strike on a Syrian military airfields and infrastructure, Russia announced their departure from two key agreements that sought to minimise the risk of conflict between US-led coalition forces and Russian and Syrian forces.

The Russia Foreign Ministry announced that it suspended an agreement to avoid clashes between Russian and US-led coalition jets over Syrian airspace, while Reuters reporter Idrees Ali reports that Russia withdrew from a deconfliction channel, which the US used last night to warn Russian forces of the incoming cruise missile strikes.

So now the US has jets flying missions against ISIS in eastern Syria mere miles away from Russian jets in western Syria supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Without channels and agreements to communicate, the risk of accidental conflict between the world’s two largest nuclear powers grows.

However, Sim Tack of Stratfor, a geopolitical analysis firm, told Business Insider that the deconfliction channel “may be reinstated soon.”

Tomahawk cruise missileUS NavyUGM-109 Tomahawk missile detonates above a test target, 1986.

Additionally, “the US has a serious amount of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets at its disposal where they can monitor airspace effectively and minimise that risk,” said Tack. Essentially, the US can use drones, radars, and satellites to make sure the path is clear before launching any strikes.

Russia has condemned the US strike, which was a retaliation to a chemical weapon attack that killed 80 in the northeastern part of the country. Meanwhile, many leaders from around the world have hailed the move.

“It is in this vital national security interest of the US to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” US President Donald Trump said in a televised address after the strikes.

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