The sun was barely up before the Defense Ministry, not famous for speedy reactions, pumped out a statement underscoring that none of the thousands of Russian troops garrisoned in Syria had been threatened by the American, British and French attack and that none of its air defense systems had been mobilized.
“It looks like both sides were playing according to their prescribed roles and managed to limit the harm from this kind of confrontation,” said Aleksandr M. Golts, an independent Russian military analyst and deputy editor of Yezhednevny Zhurnal, an online current affairs magazine. “Syria will not be the starting point for some kind of global confrontation.”
The American ambassador to Russia, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., released a statement on Facebook on Saturday confirming that the two sides had taken steps before the assault to made sure they stayed out of each other’s way. “Before we took action,” he said, “the U.S. communicated with the R.F. to reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties.”