Russia says US airstrikes play into extremists' hands

Russia's Foreign Minister said the airstrikes threaten global security

Russia says US airstrikes play into extremists' hands

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a news conference in Tashkent, Uzbekistan | Image: PA images

Russia has told the US that its recent cruise missile attacks against the Syrian government "play into the hands of extremists".

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed his views to American secretary of state Rex Tillerson in their first telephone conversation since the strikes on an airbase near Homs.

Washington claims the base was used by the Syrian government to launch a chemical attack on civilians in Idlib province on Tuesday, where around 80 people were killed. 

The US cruise missile strikes on Friday were in retaliation to the gas attack, but Mr Lavrov accused America of threatening global security.

He pointed out the US attack "on a country whose government fights terrorism only plays into the hands of extremists," he added that it "creates additional threats to regional and global security".

Mr Lavrov also told Mr Tillerson that assertions the Syrian military used a chemical weapon in Idlib province on Tuesday do not correspond to reality.

The Russian foreign ministry said the pair agreed to continue discussions on Syria in person.

Mr Tillerson is expected in Moscow for talks with Russian officials next week.

The US ambassador to the UN previously said America is "prepared to do more" militarily in Syria but hopes it will not be necessary.

Additional reporting from IRN....