The US missile attack on Syria was de facto in the interests of terrorists, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. It was the first direct US strike targeting the Syrian government. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Dr. Taleb Ibrahim, Syrian political analyst and deputy director of Damascus Centre for Strategic Studies.
“You cannot launch an attack by cruise missiles in 24 hours or in two days. You need to prepare cruise missiles for weeks. You must program it because such missiles are very high accuracy weapons and they need extensive programming. It cannot be done just within days or hours like the US did,” Ibrahim said.
BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:50 A.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIL) forces in the eastern countryside of the Homs Governorate launched a powerful offensive this morning, a local military source informed Al-Masdar.
Capitalizing on the U.S. missile strikes, the Islamic State stormed the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) checkpoints near the strategic town of Al-Furqalas.
According to local sources, the Islamic State has yet to make any gains near Al-Fuqalas, but without necessary air support, the situation could worsen in the coming hours.
The Shayrat Military Airport is one of the Syrian Air Force’s most important installations in the fight against the Islamic State due to its proximity to the Palmyra and Deir Ezzor fronts.
“From the position of the Iranian authorities, the missile attack by the US on the Syrian Ash Sha’irat air base is a flagrant violation of international law, the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, which is a member of the UN,” Hanizadeh said.
He further said that these attacks were carried out without any agreement and approval of the UN Security Council. Hence, this is an aggression against Syria by the US.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns this attack. The US, by carrying out this missile attack tried to pursue different goals. First of all, the United States wanted to blame the recent chemical attack in Syria solely on the government forces of that country because it was defeated during the last meeting of the UN Security Council when Russia rose to defense and opposed such groundless accusations,” the analyst said.
He added that since then the United States having remained dissatisfied with the situation, decided to act independently and without the authorization of the UN Security Council, openly attacking the airfield in Syria.
“There is an impression that the Americans are working on a new scenario in Syria. After the terrorists in Syria and Iraq were defeated, the Americans tried to implement the same scenario that was implemented in Libya and Iraq,” the analyst said.
He further said that by means of a missile attack on the Syrian airfield, they are trying to “paralyze the Syrian air defense system and weaken it and by doing so they aim to change the balance of power in the region in general.”
According to him this attack was planned in advance by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and possibly, Turkey.
“Their goal is to overthrow the current regime in Syria by military means. It is not surprising that such actions received a sharply negative response from Russia, Iran and Iraq,” Hanizadeh said.
Furious Putin calls US airstrikes an ‘illegal act of aggression’ and suspends deal to avoid mid-air clashes with American fighter jets over Syria
Furious Vladimir Putin has called the US airstrikes on Syria an ‘illegal act of aggression’ and suspended a deal to avoid mid-air clashes with American fighter jets over the war-torn country.
The Russian President warned of grave damage to relations between Washington and Moscow after 60 Tomahawk missiles were fired at al-Shayrat airbase near Homs.
Syrian Army officials described the attack as an act of ‘blatant aggression’, saying it had made the US ‘a partner’ of ISIS, the ex-Nusra Front and other ‘terrorist organisations’.
The US insists the base was used by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces to launch a deadly chemical attack that killed 80 on Tuesday.
America used a special military-to-military hotline to warn Russia it was launching an airstrike on a Syrian air base about 30 minutes in advance – but the Trump administration did not ask Moscow for permission. It is likely Russia alerted the Syrians about the incoming strikes but this has not been confirmed.
Russia plans to increase air defences in Syria after a US missile strike on a government-controlled airfield, warning the military action had made the risk of conflict “significantly higher”.
The Russian Defence Ministry said it would be beefing up the Syrian army’s ability to shoot down enemy warplanes in the wake of strike.
“To cover the most sensitive objects in Syria’s infrastructure a set of measures will be soon implemented to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the air defence systems of the Syrian armed forces,” a statement said.
It also mocked the effectiveness of the attack, saying just 23 of the 59 tomahawk cruise missiles fired from US Navy destroyers had hit their target.
The ministry said it was unclear where 36 other missiles had landed.
“The combat effectiveness of the US massive missile attack on the Syrian air base is extremely low,” the statement continued.
“These actions of the American side are seen as a flagrant violation of the memorandum signed in 2015 on the prevention of incidents and safety during operations in Syrian airspace.”
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet’s frigate, the Admiral Grigorovich, is now heading for the Syrian port city of Tartus in the eastern Mediterranean, according to sources quoted by Russian news agency Tass.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said the US air strike on a Syrian air base came “within an inch” of militarily clashing with their forces.
He said the action taken by the Americans was in breach of international law and their own internal procedures, and accused Washington of “barely avoiding combat clashes with Russia”.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Medvedev said the air strike had “completely ruined relations” between the two superpowers.
However, the US says it warned Russia one hour before it fired 59 tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat air base.
Satellite imagery suggests the base that was struck is home to Russian special forces and military helicopters, part of the Kremlin’s effort to help the Syrian government fight Islamic State and other militant groups.
No Russian personnel were caught up in the strike.
The ministry said that it had summoned a US military attache in Moscow to confirm the suspension of a memoransum on flight safety in Syria.
Moreover, the Russian Ministry of Defense sent a note on the issue to Washington.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow has suspended its memorandum of understanding on air safety over Syria with the United States following the deadly US missile attack on the Sha’irat airfield.