Sat Apr 8, 2017 10:03PM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures as he speaks during a meeting in Moscow on March 27, 2017. (Photos by AFP)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures as he speaks during a meeting in Moscow on March 27, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

Russia says that the US is "playing the terrorism game" and endangering regional and global security.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks on Saturday during a phone conversation with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson.

"An attack on a country whose government fights terrorism only plays into the hands of extremists, creates additional threats to regional and global security," he said according to a statement released by Russia’s foreign ministry.

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On Friday, US President Donald Trump ordered a military attack on a Syrian airbase in Homs province just a day after he accused President Bashar al-Assad for last week’s suspected chemical weapons attack, which killed at least 70 people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib province.

A handout grab image made on April 8, 2017 from a video made available by the Russian Defense Ministry's press service on the official website of the Russian Defense Ministry shows landing strips at the Shayrat airbase after it was hit by the US strike.

During the conversation, which was the first between high ranking US and Russia officials since the airbase attack, Lavrov also reiterated his country’s position that accusations that the Syrian government had attacked Khan Shaykhun last week "are not in line with reality.”

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Tillerson is scheduled to arrive in Russia on Tuesday for two days of talks. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has noted that Moscow expects "explanations" over the airbase attack.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks with the media after he greeted Chinese President Xi Jinping (not seen) at Palm Beach International Airport on April 6, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Syrian airbase continues operations 

Meanwhile, the governor of Homs has confirmed that airbase which was targeted in the US attack is operating again. "The airport is operating as a first phase," said Talal Barazi. "Planes have taken off from it."

Trump suggested on Twitter that the runway itself had not been the target of the missile strikes.

"The reason you don't generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!,” he said via twitter.

North Korea slams US Syria base attack

Also on Saturday, North Korea said that the US missile strikes against a Syrian airfield were "an unforgivable act of aggression" which proved that its decision to develop nuclear weapons was "the right choice a million times over."

"The US missile attack against Syria is a clear and unforgivable act of aggression against a sovereign state and we strongly condemn this," KCNA quoted North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying.

A woman walks past a television screen showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul on April 5, 2017.

"The reality of today proves our decision to strengthen our military power to stand against force with force was the right choice a million times over,” he added.

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Pyongyang has so far conducted five confirmed nuclear tests and numerous missile launches. The United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) have already imposed an array of crippling sanctions on North Korea over its missile and nuclear programs. Pyongyang says the programs are meant to guarantee security against potential US military aggression.

Last month, Pyongyang fired a missile into the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula just as Trump was hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida retreat. The North’s military also fired four ballistic missiles into the sea near Japanese territory earlier this month.