Airstrikes On Syria Dealing ‘Significant Blow’ To U.S.-Russia Relations

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PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) — The Trump administration is vowing to keep up the pressure on Syria after another wave of missile strikes from U.S. war ships overnight.

The attacks against the Syrian air base were the first American assaults against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

On Friday, the Pentagon indicated that new sanctions against Syria would follow the missile strikes, CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan reported, including probing what role, if any, Russia may have played in the alleged chemical weapons attack that pushed President Trump to take action.

Syrian activists and state media said the overnight airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition on a northern village held by the Islamic State group killed at least 13 civilians, including children.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 15 people including four children were killed in Saturday’s airstrike on the village of Hneida.

The village is in the northern province of Raqqa where U.S.-backed Syrian fighters have been on the offensive against ISIS under the cover of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

The Sound and Picture activist group that tracks atrocities by ISIS said the airstrike hit an Internet cafe.

Russian officials have warned that the strikes dealt a “significant blow” to relations between Washington and Moscow, calling it a “flagrant violation of international law and an act of aggression” whose “consequences for regional and international security could be extremely serious.”

Russia’s deputy ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, called the Assad government a main force against terrorism and said it deserved the presumption of innocence in the chemical weapons attack.

However, the U.S. is blaming Moscow for propping up Assad.

“The world is waiting for the Russian government to act responsibly in Syria,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said during an emergency Security Council session. “The world is waiting for Russia to reconsider its misplaced alliance with Bashar Assad.”

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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