Russia and Assad Regime Denounce US Missile Strikes in Syria

The Kremlin warned that the attack would deteriorate “already deplorable” US-Russian relations.

US Navy/AP

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Russia on Friday denounced a US missile strike that targeted a Syrian air base Thursday, describing the military action as an “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law.”

“This step deals significant damage to US-Russian ties, which are already in a deplorable state,” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said. He also accused the United States of acting on an “invented” pretext.

President Donald Trump authorized Thursday’s strikes in reaction to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on civilians earlier this week. The chemical attack killed more than 80 people, including scores of children, in the country’s Idlib province. Images from the attack drew international condemnation and are said to have spurred Trump to take military action.

Syrian President Bashar Assad echoed the Kremlin’s condemnation on Friday, calling the US missile strikes “reckless” and “irresponsible.” A statement from Assad’s office also denied the government’s possession of chemical weapons and said the accusations this week were part of a “false propaganda campaign.”

Trump’s order on Thursday marked a significant departure from the Obama administration’s policy on Syria’s ongoing civil war, as well as the president’s own noninterventionist position during the 2016 campaign. (Trump had previously said the United States had “bigger problems” than Assad and that the country “should stay the hell out of Syria.”)

Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate on Thursday, Trump said the air strikes were in “vital national security interest.”

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

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And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

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