Russia Claims US Attack on Syrian Air Base Ineffective
Russia’s Statement on the US Tomahawk Missile Strike
The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation released a statement following the US missile attack on al-Shayrat Air Base in Syria. The Russians stated that only 23 of the 59 Tomahawk missiles launched reached their target. Several buildings were destroyed, including aircraft in repair hangars, but the runaway and operational aircraft of the Syrian Air Force were undamaged. The Russians concluded that the missile strike’s effectiveness was “extremely low”. The Russians also accuse the US of “falsifications”. Russian claims are at variance with those made in Western media.
Here is the transcript in full.
Statement of the Russian Defence Ministry spokesman on the missile strike carried out by the US Navy against the Shayrat Air Base in Syria
On April 7, from 3.42 to 3.56 (MSK), two destroyers of the US Navy (USS Ross and USS Porter) made a massive strike with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the area near Crete Island (Mediterranean Sea) against the Syrian Shayrat Air Base (Homs province).
According to the objective monitoring data, 23 missiles reached the Syrian Air Base.
As a result, an equipment depot, a training building, a mess, six MiG-23 aircraft in repairing hangars as well as a radar station were destroyed.
The runway, taxiways and aircraft of the Syrian Air Force at parking places were not damaged.
According to the information received from the Air Base Command, two Syrian servicemen are missing, 4 were killed and 6 got burning wounds during firefighting.
Therefore, the combat effectiveness of the American massive missile strike on the Syrian Air Base is extremely low.
These actions of the American party are considered as a serious violation of the Memorandum on prevention of incidents and providing security during operations in the air space of Syria signed in 2015.
The Russian Defence Ministry suspends the cooperation with the Pentagon within this Memorandum.
All the accusations against Damascus that it had violated the Chemical Weapons Convention of 2013 given by the USA as reasons for the strike are groundless.
The Russian Defence Ministry has repeatedly explained that the Syrian troops had not used chemical weapons. The Russian military department is looking forward to receiving explanations from the USA concerning the existence of irrefutable proof that the Syrian army had used chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun.
It is to be stressed that in the years 2013-2016 the Syrian government undertook all measures to eliminate chemical weapons, its delivery systems, production facilities. All chemical weapons stocks have been eliminated. The components for their production have been transported from the Syrian Arab Republic to the enterprises of the United States, Finland, Great Britain, and Germany where they have been destroyed.
The US administrations have changed but the methods for unleashing wars have remained the same since bombardments of Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya. Allegations, falsifications, grandstand playing with photos and test-tubes with pseudo results in international organizations became the reason for aggression initiation instead of an objective investigation.
It is to be stressed that a large-scale offensive of the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra armed formations has been launched right after the massive missile strike against the Syrian Air Base.
The Russian Defence Ministry hopes that the activities of the insurgents had not been coordinated with the American party.
Today it is obvious that the American cruise missile strike had been planned long before this event.
It is necessary to conduct reconnaissance operations, to plan and prepare the missile flight paths, and put them on full combat alert.
It is clear for any specialist that the decision for the missile strike on Syria had been made well in advance of the events in Khan Sheikhoun, which have become just a formal reason for the attack, while the demonstration of military power has been dictated only by reasons of internal policy.
In the near future, the effectiveness of the Syrian Armed Forces air defence system will be improved in order to cover the most important objects of the Syrian infrastructure.
Photo: US Navy USS Porter launches Tomahawk missile at Syrian air base, 7 April 2017, by Kyle Soard (DVIDS).