MOSCOW, April 7 Russian President Vladimir Putin
believes that U.S. cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base
broke international law and have seriously hurt U.S.-Russia
relations, news agencies cited the Kremlin as saying on Friday.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying that the
Russian leader, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad, regarded the U.S. action as "aggression against a
sovereign nation" on a "made-up pretext" and as a cynical
attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq.
Peskov was quoted as saying that Russia did not believe that
Syria possessed chemical weapons and that the U.S. move would
inevitably create a serious obstacle to creating an
international coalition to fight terrorism, an idea that Putin
has repeatedly pushed.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn and Jack Stubbs; Ediitng by Sujata