Russia warned of 'negative consequences' ahead of US missile strike on Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/ Getty Images

The US launched 59 cruise missiles at an airfield controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 80 people in the northwestern part of the country on Monday.

It is one of the biggest moves the US has taken in Syria’s six-year-old civil war, and risks confrontation with Russia and Iran, Assad’s two main military backers.

Prior to the launch, Russia warned of “negative consequences” if the US targeted Syria.

According to Reuters, Russia’s deputy UN envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, said: “We have to think about negative consequences, negative consequences, and all the responsibility if military action occurred will be on shoulders of those who initiated such doubtful and tragic enterprise.

When asked what those negative consequences could be, he said: “Look at Iraq, look at Libya.”

Reuters reports the US did not target sections of the base where it’s believed Russian forces were present.

NBC’s Joe Scarborough reports that when asked if Russia had been notified of the coming attack, an administration official said, “All who were notified supported the action.”

It was unclear at first if this included Russia, but later reports suggest the Kremlin was warned of the strikes.

US president Donald Trump. Photo: Saul Loeb/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Local media outlets are reporting that US president Donald Trump got support from a “broad list” of nations before going ahead with the strike.

According to Scarborough this includes “foreign countries from Arab states to Canada supported tonight’s strikes”.

Australia is one of allies on the list.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was briefed by US officials just before 7am today and subsequently hinted that Australia may be involved in an expanded US-led military strike on Syria in comments before details the missile strike emerged.

“I can’t go into any more detail than that, other than to say that I’ve spoken only a little while ago with the defence minister [Marise Payne] and the chief of the defence force [Mark Binskin]” he told 3AW radio on Friday.

“You know where we stand. We have condemned this attack utterly. It cries out for a strong response and we are in very … close and constant communication with our allies, in particular the United States.”

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