President Donald Trump Saturday tweeted his congratulations to the men and women of the U.S. military for launching a lethal Tomahawk missile strike against Syria's Shayrat air base, and thanked them for their service.
"Congratulations to our great military men and women for representing the United States, and the world, so well in the Syria attack."
The warships USS Porter and USS Ross in the Mediterranean Sea launched dozens of Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat air base, which the Pentagon says was involved in a chemical weapons attack this week that killed dozens and left more than 100 others injured.
It was Trump's biggest foreign policy decision since taking office in January and the kind of direct intervention in Syria's six-year-old civil war his predecessor Barack Obama avoided.
Russia warned on Friday that the strikes on a Syrian air base could have "extremely serious" consequences, as Trump's first major foray into a foreign conflict opened up a rift between Moscow and Washington.
"We strongly condemn the illegitimate actions by the U.S. The consequences of this for regional and international stability could be extremely serious," Russia's deputy U.N. envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev charged that the U.S. strikes were one step away from clashing with Russia's military.
U.S. officials informed Russian forces ahead of the missile strikes and avoided hitting Russian personnel.
Trump, who has frequently urged improved relations with Russia, strained under Obama over Syria, Ukraine and other issues, was hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Thursday night when the attack occurred.
Russia's Defense Ministry responded to the attack by calling in the U.S. military attache in Moscow to say that at midnight Moscow time (5 p.m. EDT) it would close down a communications line used to avoid accidental clashes between Russian and U.S. forces in Syria, Interfax new agency said. U.S. warplanes frequently attack Islamic State militants in Syria and come close to Russian forces.
According to a Fox News Report, Russia is flexing their muscles by sending a Russian warship toward the area in the Mediterranean where U.S. Navy destroyers launched missile strikes into Syria.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in Florida with Trump, said on Friday the United States would announce additional sanctions on Syria in the near future but offered no specifics.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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