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Tensions between the United States and Russia will not "spiral out of control" following last week's U.S. cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday, describing it as a one-off response to Syria's use of banned chemical weapons.
President Donald Trump, in his biggest foreign policy decision since taking office in January, ordered the strikes after concluding that Syria waged a nerve gas attack in rebel-held territory that killed 87 people, many of them children.
Russia, which has advisers on the ground aiding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, warned the U.S. strike could have serious consequences. Syria denies involvement.
"It will not spiral out of control," Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
"I'm confident the Russians will act in their own best interest and there is nothing in their best interest to say they want this situation to go out of control."