U.S.-led missile strikes target Syrian military airfields: Russian military

Updated 2018-04-17 15:38:58 Xinhua

Photo taken on April 14, 2018 shows relics of the Scientific Research Center in the Barzeh neigborhood of northeast of Damascus, after United States, Britain and France carried out a wave of joint airstrikes on Syrian military facilities. The U.S., along with its allies Britain and France, launched missile strikes on Syrian military positions earlier on Saturday. (Xinhua/Monsef Memari)

The real targets of the U.S.-British-French missile strikes on Saturday were Syrian military facilities, including airfields, in addition to three targets announced by the United States and its allies, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said on Saturday that the attack had three targets in Syria -- a scientific research center in the greater Damascus area, a chemical weapon storage facility west of Holmes and a facility near the second one.

Radar detected 103 missiles fired by the Western coalition, meaning that an average of more than 30 missiles were aimed at each of the three targets, the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a press release.

But by any calculation methods, 10 missiles would be sufficient to destroy each of the targets, he said.

"This was what really happened. The true targets of the strike by the United States, Britain and France on April 14 were not only facilities in Barzeh and Jaramana but also Syrian military targets, including airfields," he said.

Syrian forces used Soviet-era air defense systems and fired 112 surface-to-air missiles to repel the U.S.-led strike, destroying 71 out of the total 103 missiles launched by the coalition, Konashenkov said.

The United States, Britain and France hit Syria with a wave of missiles on Saturday, saying it was in response to an alleged chemical weapon attack by Syrian government forces in the rebel-held district of Douma near capital Damascus on April 7.

The Syrian government has categorically denied the accusation and Russia said its military experts found no traces of toxic substances in Douma.

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