The US Department of Defense still wants to communicate with Russia when it comes to Syrian airspace and the memorandum on incident prevention, Pentagon spokesperson Michelle Baldanza told Sputnik on Friday.
“The Department of Defense maintains the desire for dialogue through the flight safety channel,” Baldanza stated. “It is to the benefit of all parties operating in the air over Syria to avoid accidents and miscalculation, and we hope the Russian Ministry of Defense comes to this conclusion as well.”
Earlier in the day Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that Russia suspends its memorandum of understanding on air safety over Syria with the United States following the deadly US missile attack on the Sha’irat airfield.
“We assess such actions of the US side as a gross violations of the memorandum on incident prevention and ensuring security in operations in the Syrian airspace signed in 2015. The Russian Defense Ministry is suspending cooperation with the Pentagon within the framework of this memorandum,” Konashenkov said in a statement.
The United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat near Homs late Thursday. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on Damascus.
Following the US attack, the Syrian Armed Forces said that at least six people were killed and serious damages were inflicted on the Syrian military airfield in the Homs province.
A number of states, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Australia have already expressed their support for the attack, while Russia views the US actions in Syria as aggression against a sovereign state based on an unjustified reason. Japan and Russia have called for the UN Security Council’s emergency meeting.