MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. Russia was informed about forthcoming US strikes in Syria over existing communication channels. However, “nobody called [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said.
“Yes, this piece of information [about forthcoming strikes] was furnished,” the Kremlin’s representative said, adding that US strikes on Syria impair fight against terrorism.
“As for the changes in geopolitical situation after these attacks, let’s watch the situation develop together. So far, one can definitively say that that the strikes impaired the fight against terrorism,” Kremlin spokesman said.
Moscow views US missile strikes on an air base in Syria as an act of aggression against its ally, Peskov stressed.
Asked at a news conference whether the US attack was viewed by the Kremlin as an act of aggression against Russia’s ally, Peskov said “Definitely.”
“Since we are rendering assistance to the Syrian military in line with the relevant request from the Syrian authorities, we view Syria as our ally,” Peskov statted.
Russia terminates exchanges of information with US
Russia is terminating exchanges of information via military channels about its operations in Syria, Peskov said.
“Technically the channels remain, but no information will be exchanged,” Peskov said while answering journalists’ questions after last night’s US strikes against targets in Syria.
Peskov confirmed that Russia has suspended the Memorandum on preventing military incidents and ensuring aviation security that was signed with the US. “This memorandum lost its meaning last night when the attack was carried out,” he said.
The US missile strike on the Syrian airbase has seriously increased risks of incidents in the war-torn country, he stressed. “The risk has significantly increased,’ Peskov said.
“What is unambiguous is the fact that the strikes [by the US on Syria] de facto were delivered in the interests of the ISIL [the former name of the Islamic State terrorist organization outlawed in Russia], Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations,” he said.
Russian military in Syria
Peskov has declined to comment on the possibility for the Russian military to protect to the Syrian army’s facilities. “This question should be forwarded to our military,” Peskov said when asked if Moscow had such plans.
The Kremlin spokesman added that the Russian military had been deployed to Syria in accordance with international law as Syria’s legitimate government had made a request to Russia. “They (the Russian military) continue the operation (against terrorists) and are doing everything possible in order to solve the tasks set before them by President Putin, who is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief,” Peskov stressed.
The Kremlin went on to say orders to build up the Russian military contingent in Syria can be issued only by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.
“The rules of presence and strength of our military personnel (in Syria) is determined by the Defense Ministry in accordance with instructions from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief (President Vladimir Putin),” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media when asked if Russia might increase its military presence in Syria following last night’s missile attack against Syria.
The US military fired on late Thursday night a total of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from its warships in the Mediterranean Sea on Syria’s Al Shayrat air base located in the country’s province of Homs. The US attack on the Syrian government forces reportedly comes in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Idlib on April 4.
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) 7 April 2017
Shayrat airbase: One of the major strongholds of the Syrian Air Force
MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. The US military launched 59 Tomahawk missiles from two US Navy destroyers on Thursday on the Shairat airbase in Syria’s Homs province.
The airfield located some 120 kilometers away from Syria’s capital Damascus is one of the major bases of the Syrian Air Force.
The airfield has a three-kilometer runway and 40 hardened shelters.
The Syrian government forces have never lost control of the airbase since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011.
According to media reports, the Russian aerospace forces occasionally used Shayrat as a stopover base since 2015.
In late November 2015, a number of western media reported that Russia is planning to deploy its new Russian airbase at Shayrat. However, Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashrnkov dismissed these reports.