SYRIA POLITICS: 23 Tomahawk Missiles Out Of 59 Reached Syrian Airfield – Russia Mod
Six MiG-23 fighter jets were destroyed in the US missile strike on a Syrian airfield in Homs province, but the runway remained intact, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. The strike on the Shayrat airfield in Syria’s Homs Province destroyed a material storage depot, a training facility, a canteen, six MiG-23 aircraft in repair hangars and a radar station.
The runway, taxiways and the Syrian aircraft on the parking apron remained undamaged, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said in a statement.
The ministry described the combat efficiency of the strike as “quite poor.”
“On April 7, 2017, between 3:42am and 3:56am Moscow time, two US Navy destroyers (USS Porter and USS Ross) fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat airfield in Homs Province, Syria, from an area near the Island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea.
“According to our sources, only 23 of them reached the Syrian airbase,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said, adding that the points of impact of the other 36 cruise missiles remain unknown.
The ministry also slammed the US actions as “a gross violation” of the memorandum of understanding signed by Moscow in Washington back in 2015 to prevent flight incidents in Syrian airspace.
All justifications for the strike are “groundless claims,” the ministry continued.
“Russia made an earlier statement that the Syrian forces did not use chemical weapons. We are waiting for clarification from the US on undisputed – as they claim – evidence that it was the Syrian Army that deployed chemical weapons in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.”
The ministry also pointed to the events that followed the strikes, a large-scale offensive against the Syrian Army carried out by Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front terrorists.
“We hope that this offensive was in no way coordinated with the US,” the ministry said.
“A number of measures aimed at strengthening and improving the effectiveness of the Syrian air defense system will be implemented in the near future in order to protect the vital parts of the Syrian infrastructure,” Konashenkov said.
The governor of Homs province, Talal Barazi, said the US strike on a Syrian airfield has led to civilian casualties in a village near the base, as well as the airbase itself. At least five people have been left dead and seven wounded, he told RT. Two civilians and three military personnel were killed in the strike.The American missile attack on Syria won’t topple its government or change the policies of Damascus, he said after a barrage of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeted a Syrian airfield located there.
“The Syrian leadership and Syrian policy will not change,” Talal Barazi said in a phone interview with Syrian state television. “This targeting was not the first and I don’t believe it will be the last.”
He added that Shayrat airbase will be rebuilt and continue to play a role in fighting terrorists.
Earlier, Barazi told Reuters that firefighting and rescue operations were under way at the Shayrat airfield after the US attack, but that he believed that there were not many casualties on the ground.
Barazi said Washington’s escalation of the conflict in Syria only served terrorist groups such as Islamic State. The governor said that the base played a significant role in the recent capture of the city of Palmyra from IS.
The Syrian state TV called the attack “American aggression”.
Updates: Putin to meet with security council after US missile strikes on Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting of his security council later on Friday to discuss the U.S missile strikes on Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russia has suspended its Syria air safety agreement with the United States following the missile strikes.
Peskov said Russia would keep technical and military channels of communication open with Washington, but would not exchange any information through them.
“In light of the missile strikes, risks (of collisions between Russian and U.S. aircraft) are significantly higher,” the spokesman told reporters.
The strikes were carried out in interests of Islamic State and other radical groups operating in Syria, Peskov added.
Exclusive! The first images from the airbase Shayrat from Evgeniya Poddubnogo – Russia 24
US Navy launched a missile attack on Syrian airbase Shayrat in Homs province. The air base is undamaged. Video in Russian.