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Russian-US escalation over Syria unlikely — Pentagon chief

"It will not spiral out of control," James Mattis said

WASHINGTON, April 12. /TASS/. The tensions between Russia and United States are unlikely to escalate any further, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters at a briefing in the Pentagon late Tuesday.

"I'm confident the Russians will act in their own best interest, and there's nothing in their best interest to say they want this situation to go out of control," he said.

"As you know, Secretary of State Tillerson is in Moscow. We maintain communications with the Russian military and with the diplomatic channels. It will not spiral out of control," Mattis added.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday as relations between the two states soured following a US airstrike on a Syrian military airfield.

Following an order of US President Donald Trump, the US military fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from its warships in the Mediterranean on an air base in the Syrian Homs Goevrnorate on Thursday night. The missile strike came as a response to the chemical attack in Idlib on April 4 and targeted what Washington claims was a starting location for the attack. Moscow views the incident as an aggression against a sovereign state and a blatant violation of international law.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry’s data, the Syrian aircraft hit workshops on April 4 where terrorists were producing chemical-laden munitions supplied to Iraq and used in Aleppo.