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Russia Seeks Advanced Warning of U.S. Airstrikes in Syria, Media Reports

DOD / Zuma / TASS

The Russian military has reportedly asked the United States to provide the coordinates of expected airstrike targets in Syria following a U.S. threat to retaliate for an alleged chemical weapons attack in the country.

The White House said that no decisions had been made on military actions in Syria as U.S. President Donald Trump’s 48-hour deadline passed on Wednesday, when he warned Russia to “get ready” for U.S. missiles in Syria. Moscow has reportedly been in direct contact with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff about the situation in Syria following Trump’s threat, the head of a Russian parliamentary defense committee told media on Wednesday.

The Russian military expects the U.S. to provide the coordinates of its potential targets to avoid losses among Russian servicemen in Syria, the Kommersant business daily reported Thursday, citing anonymous sources in Russia’s Defense Ministry.

The Russian military said on Wednesday that it was closely monitoring the situation around Syria and was aware of the movements of a U.S. naval force in the area.

Russia’s S-400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense systems deployed in Syria “should not come under fire, otherwise the consequences will be catastrophic,” defense ministry sources told Kommersant. 

Calling the suspected chemical attack in Douma last weekend “staged,” a Russian Foreign Ministry source cited by the daily said that Syrian President Bashar Assad would not cross the Western “red line” against the use of chemical weapons.

“Why would he do this when most of the country’s territory is already under his control?” the source asked as the Russian military announced that the Syrian government had restored full control over Douma.

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