Trump's Syria strike poses challenge for Kremlin

But the US president's surprise missile strike in Syria against the Kremlin's ally Bashar al-Assad has instead thrown down a gauntlet, infuriating Moscow and challenging its dominance in the war-torn country.

Trump's Syria strike poses challenge for Kremlin

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russia hailed Donald Trump when he came to power as the leader who could help restore battered ties between Moscow and Washington. 

Since launching a bombing campaign to support Assad's forces in September 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned the tide in the six-year war and made Moscow the key player in shaping Syria's future. 

As Washington backed off under former president Barack Obama, Putin stepped in to fill the vacuum and reassert Russian influence in the Middle East. 

Now, Trump has struck after just a few days of outrage over an alleged chemical weapons attack, ignoring Moscow's claims the regime was not to blame.    

The new US leader's willingness to wade in appears to have caught the Kremlin flat-footed and represents a threat to Moscow's undisputed superiority in Syria.

The immediate reaction to the strike was strong condemnation of an "aggression against a sovereign state" as officials struggled to digest the news. 

The Kremlin accused Trump of reneging on pledges to focus on fighting Islamic State jihadists and insisted the move would "inflict considerable damage on US-Russia relations, which are already in a lamentable state".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Nisan 2017, 17:52