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Russia: U.S. Advised Moscow Of Strike Against Iraq

Washington, 3 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department says Washington advised Moscow that it was planning a strike against Iraq before bombing military targets early today.

A State Department official who asked not to be identified told RFE/RL that the consultations took place between the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Thomas Pickering, and senior Russian officials.

The official says the Russians voiced opposition to the U.S. military strike. The official said Pickering was told that Russia "objected to the escalation of use of force" by both the Iraqi and U.S. sides.

After the attack, the Russian government issued a statement condemning the bombing, calling it "an unacceptable reaction."

The State Department official says that consultations between Washington and Moscow on the Iraqi situation are expected to continue.