City beneath city: RT films massive network of militant-built tunnels under Syria’s Douma (VIDEO) – By RT

https://www.rt.com/news/425149-douma-underground-militant-tunnels/video/5ae0c540dda4c8d75f8b45fe

 
 
The Syrian military has been combing through a vast network of tunnels built by jihadists in Douma, not far from Damascus. RT Arabic filmed vehicles easily fitting in the passages and asked locals how the militants treated them.

Located 15 meters deep under the surface, the massive tunnels are supported by metal pillars and are paneled with some sort of liner plates, creating a subway look. They stretch for kilometers under the town, located in the area of eastern Ghouta, forming an entire city beneath the city.

To complete the set, the tunnels are equipped with electricity, parking lots and workshops. They are so big that a minivan could easily move through them, as seen in the footage. The military discovered that the tunnels were specifically used to stockpile machinery and vehicles.

The militants forced the locals to build the tunnels for them by starving the people, who refused to work, Douma residents told RT. “They starved us, they harassed us,” one man said, adding that the extremists also made captives and civilians work on the tunnels. “They [the militants] would not feed those, who refused to work,” he said.

READ MORE: Moscow slams western media ‘disinformation campaign’ about OPCW experts being denied entry to Douma

The Russian military said they found a chemical laboratory operated by militants in central Douma soon after the city’s liberation. The facility, located in the basement of a residential building, had some sophisticated equipment, including an industrial chemical reactor, which the military said was used by the jihadists to create toxic agents. Vast stockpiles of various chemicals were also found in the laboratory.

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Russia capable of providing S-300 to Syria within one month — source – By TASS

April 23, 18:46 UTC+3

According to the source, there are two options of delivering the S-300 to Syria

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Russia is technically capable of providing its air defense systems S-300 to Syria within one month, a military-diplomatic source has told TASS, adding that for this the launchers already at the Defense Ministry’s disposal might be used after the required reconfiguration, a military-diplomatic source has told TASS.

According to the official, there are two options of delivering the S-300 to Syria. One is Russia may provide to Syria the export configuration of the air defense launchers. In that case Syria will get them in 18 to 24 months from now. The other possibility is the available systems may be retrieved from the Defense Ministry’s reserves. Those replaced by S-400 in the Russian army might be use, too.

“Naturally, the used S-300 systems that may be taken to Syria will have to be reconfigured to suit the standards of the Syrian air defense. This work may take about a month,” the source said.

TASS has no official confirmation of this.

 

Earlier, the daily Kommersant quoted its own sources as saying that Russia in the near future might start the delivery of S-300 Favorit air defense systems to Syria.

 

S-300 for Syria

 

Russia’s General Staff declared it might be possible to raise the question once again of providing S-300 systems to Damascus shortly after the United States, Britain and France on April attacked Syria with cruise missiles. The agreement with Syria on providing S-300 was signed back in 2010 only to be frozen due to objections from the West and Israel.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on April 16 said Russia might be prepared to consider all the necessary steps for enhancing Syria’s defense capabilities, including the supplies of S-300 systems. On April 23 Lavrov said the question of providing S-300 to Syria had not been settled yet, but Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed that possibility with the Defense Ministry “from the standpoint of preventing a situation where Syria might turn out insufficiently prepared for aggressive attacks, like the one that took place on April 14.”

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov refrained from comment when asked if S-300 might be delivered to Syria in the near future.

 
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By Billing Russia ‘Terror Sponsor’ US Wants to Lay Hands on Europe – Think Tank – By Sputnik

The Moon over the Moscow Kremlin's Spasskaya (Savior) Tower

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Republican senator Cory Gardner is championing a legislative initiative to determine whether Russia should be billed a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Radio Sputnik discussed this with Manuel Ochsenreiter, director of the German Center for Eurasian Studies and editor-in-chief of the German news magazine “ZUERST!”

Sputnik: In your view, why was this article published now, when relations between Russia and the US are as tense as they were during the Cold War era?

Manuel Ochsenreiter: We witness right now an escalation of the informational warfare; we have already now, well since the war started in Syria, which was escalating even more since the problems and difficulties in Ukraine, with the Maidan uprising, so we are now at a new escalation period and of course, the consequences for Gardner, for the US, or what they would like to see as consequences is to have a safe hand on Europe, on the European allies by labelling Russia as a “terrorist sponsoring” state.

It is not just about the consequences from the US, but they would pressure their European allies into also going into these consequences. One consequence, for sure, would be that Europe would be even closer to the US than Europe already is right now. This is also already the consequence of the Skripal story, the consequence of the so-called “gas attack” in Syria. So, it is about informational warfare meant for having the European allies more safe on the Washington side.

Sputnik: If Russia was indeed declared a state sponsor of terrorism, what kind of diplomatic moves would we see by the European Union, by the US?

Manuel Ochsenreiter: We would see a variety of diplomatic and economic measures. It would mean that sooner or later, the European countries would have to follow Washington’s judgement about Russia as a “terrorism sponsor.”

That would mean that there would be an enormous political pressure on all companies and businesses, and on all politicians who are advertising good and normal relations with Russia, between Europe and the Russian Federation. For the US, it is absolutely important to keep Europe on their side and to make Europe, let’s say, hostile towards Russia. Russia is a sort of natural partner for European states; Russia is a supplier of resources.

Germany, for example, has excellent high tech products and is also very important for the market of Russia, but the US wants to separate these two markets, or these two political spheres, to bind Europe closer to the US. The US knows [that] if Europe gets lost for the US, they are outside of the game.

READ MORE: Situation in Syria Shows ‘Cold War is Back’ — UN Chief

The consequences would include a diplomatic cooldown, maybe even freezing, maybe even more freezing than we were used to during the escalating periods of the “cold war.”

In economic terms, it would mean that companies, even if they do business with Russia, which would be legal, would suffer from moral and public pressure … if the US succeeds in making Europe also label Russia a “terrorism sponsor.” 

Sputnik: What other countries around the world are currently considered by the US and Europe as states sponsors of terrorism?

Manuel Ochsenreiter: If we take a closer look on these countries – we have for instance Iran labelled as a terrorist sponsor – we know also that they label the Lebanese Hezbollah forces as terrorists, as they are on the official terrorist list.

But if we look at the situation in the Middle East, we can precisely see that those entities and those groups labelled as terrorists or terrorist sponsors by the US are in many cases forces that are standing for stability and fighting against terrorism.

For example, Iran is one of the main forces supporting Syria in fighting the Islamic State*. Russia is the only foreign force, besides Iran, which is in Syria legally, which is there on the invitation of the legal Damascus government.

While the Americans, the British, the French and all other forces are there not legally, they were never invited, never asked by the sovereign state of Syria to support them in fighting terrorism.

We can say that one of the main terrorist-sponsoring states on the globe is the United States itself. There would be no Islamic State group existent today, if the US hadn’t meddled in the Middle East. The Islamic State exists precisely due to the meddling of the United States [in the Middle East.]

*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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Empire Collapse: Russian Missile Tech Renders America’s Trillion Dollar Navy Obsolete – By Dmitry Orlov /Russia Insider(SOTT)

Dmitry Orlov

kinzhal hypersonic missile

Kinzhal (‘dagger’) hypersonic missile being test-fired by the Russian military

For the past 500 years European nations-Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain, France and, briefly, Germany-were able to plunder much of the planet by projecting their naval power overseas. Since much of the world’s population lives along the coasts, and much of it trades over water, armed ships that arrived suddenly out of nowhere were able to put local populations at their mercy.

The armadas could plunder, impose tribute, punish the disobedient, and then use that plunder and tribute to build more ships, enlarging the scope of their naval empires. This allowed a small region with few natural resources and few native advantages beyond extreme orneriness and a wealth of communicable diseases to dominate the globe for half a millennium.

The ultimate inheritor of this naval imperial project is the United States, which, with the new addition of air power, and with its large aircraft carrier fleet and huge network of military bases throughout the planet, is supposedly able to impose Pax Americana on the entire world. Or, rather, was able to do so-during the brief period between the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of Russia and China as new global powers and their development of new anti-ship and antiaircraft technologies. But now this imperial project is at an end.

Prior to the Soviet collapse, the US military generally did not dare to directly threaten those countries to which the USSR had extended its protection. Nevertheless, by using its naval power to dominate the sea lanes that carried crude oil, and by insisting that oil be traded in US dollars, it was able to live beyond its means by issuing dollar-denominated debt instruments and forcing countries around the world to invest in them. It imported whatever it wanted using borrowed money while exporting inflation, expropriating the savings of people across the world. In the process, the US has accumulated absolutely stunning levels of national debt-beyond anything seen before in either absolute or relative terms. When this debt bomb finally explodes, it will spread economic devastation far beyond US borders. And it will explode, once the petrodollar wealth pump, imposed on the world through American naval and air superiority, stops working.

New missile technology has made a naval empire cheap to defeat. Previously, to fight a naval battle, one had to have ships that outmatched those of the enemy in their speed and artillery power. The Spanish Armada was sunk by the British armada. More recently, this meant that only those countries whose industrial might matched that of the United States could ever dream of opposing it militarily. But this has now changed: Russia’s new missiles can be launched from thousands of kilometers away, are unstoppable, and it takes just one to sink a destroyer and just two to sink an aircraft carrier. The American armada can now be sunk without having an armada of one’s own. The relative sizes of American and Russian economies or defense budgets are irrelevant: the Russians can build more hypersonic missiles much more quickly and cheaply than the Americans would be able to build more aircraft carriers.

Equally significant is the development of new Russian air defense capabilities: the S-300 and S-400 systems, which can essentially seal off a country’s airspace. Wherever these systems are deployed, such as in Syria, US forces are now forced to stay out of their range. With its naval and air superiority rapidly evaporating, all that the US can fall back on militarily is the use of large expeditionary forces – an option that is politically unpalatable and has proven to be ineffective in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also the nuclear option, and while its nuclear arsenal is not likely to be neutralized any time soon, nuclear weapons are only useful as deterrents. Their special value is in preventing wars from escalating beyond a certain point, but that point lies beyond the elimination of their global naval and air dominance. Nuclear weapons are much worse than useless in augmenting one’s aggressive behavior against a nuclear-armed opponent; invariably, it would be a suicidal move. What the US now faces is essentially a financial problem of unrepayable debt and a failing wealth pump, and it should be a stunningly obvious point that setting off nuclear explosions anywhere in the world would not fix the problems of an empire that is going broke.

Events that signal vast, epochal changes in the world often appear minor when viewed in isolation. Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon was just one river crossing; Soviet and American troops meeting and fraternizing at the Elbe was, relatively speaking, a minor event-nowhere near the scale of the siege of Leningrad, the battle of Stalingrad or the fall of Berlin. Yet they signaled a tectonic shift in the historical landscape. And perhaps we have just witnessed something similar with the recent pathetically tiny Battle of East Gouta in Syria, where the US used a make-believe chemical weapons incident as a pretense to launch an equally make-believe attack on some airfields and buildings in Syria. The US foreign policy establishment wanted to show that it still matters and has a role to play, but what really happened was that US naval and air power were demonstrated to be almost entirely beside the point.

Of course, all of this is terrible news to the US military and foreign policy establishments, as well as to the many US Congressmen in whose districts military contractors operate or military bases are situated. Obviously, this is also bad news for the defense contractors, for personnel at the military bases, and for many others as well. It is also simply awful news economically, since defense spending is about the only effective means of economic stimulus of which the US government is politically capable. Obama’s “shovel-ready jobs,” if you recall, did nothing to forestall the dramatic slide in the labor participation rate, which is a euphemism for the inverse of the real unemployment rate. There is also the wonderful plan to throw lots of money at Elon Musk’s SpaceX (while continuing to buy vitally important rocket engines from the Russians-who are currently discussing blocking their export to the US in retaliation for more US sanctions). In short, take away the defense stimulus, and the US economy will make a loud popping sound followed by a gradually diminishing hissing noise.

Needless to say, all those involved will do their best to deny or hide for as long as possible the fact that the US foreign policy and defense establishments have now been neutralized. My prediction is that America’s naval and air empire will not fail because it will be defeated militarily, nor will it be dismantled once the news sinks in that it is useless; instead, it will be forced to curtail its operations due to lack of funds. There may still be a few loud bangs before it gives up, but mostly what we will hear is a whole lot of whimpering. That’s how the USSR went; that’s how the USA will go too.

About the author

Dmitry Orlov is an engineer and author of several books, including The Five Stages of Collapse. His website is Club Orlov, and his Patreon page is here.

DOMINO THEORY ALIVE AND WELL IN SYRIA; AMERICAN FRAUD; ATTACK ON SYRIA A MILITARY DISASTER – By Ziad Fadel

USACREATEDISIS.jpg

Wonderful news abounding.  The town of Al-Dhumayr is now rodent free as the last vestiges of the Saudi-financed Jaysh Al-Islam boarded a green bus and left for Jaraablus on the Syrian-Turk border.  Al-Dhumayr is the site of one of Syria’s most important airbases which had come under attack by the Saudi terrorists there.  We can look forward today to our runways acting properly as the platforms for defending Syria from the Zionist Apartheid State, inter alia.

More great news.  The Syrian government has accepted an offer of surrender by terrorists in the West Ghouta, specifically in the towns of Yalda, Babeela and Bayt Sahm.  However, combat will not cease until Damascus is convinced that the terrorists have, indeed stopped all violent acts.  The negotiations are still underway with the terrorists agreeing to leave for the Eastern Syrian Desert and some to Idlib Governorate.  Most of the criminals are trying to arrange an amnesty and remain in their home towns.

Yesterday, in the East Qalamoon, 1,694 rats and their families left on buses to Jaraablus.  They turned over all heavy armaments to the SAA which included 1 tank, 1 BMB armored vehicle and 3 pickups with 23mm cannons.  They left in 31 buses and were all members of Jaysh Al-Islam, a group doomed to oblivion.

As part of the spoils of war, Syria turned over 2 unexploded Tomahawn cruise missiles to their Russian allies.

The SAA has embarked on a new campaign to the south of Damascus at Al-Hajar Al-Aswad.  This area is under the temporary control of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.  These two groups have indicated no desire to leave or submit to Syrian governance.  Accordingly, the Tiger Force will now begin the process of killing them all in the Yarmook Camp and Hajar Al-Aswad.

Dr. Assad has, reportedly, returned the Legion D’Honneur medal to France after it was revoked by the present French government.  Yawn.  The medal was returned via the Romanian Embassy which handles French affairs for Paris in the absence of a diplomatic staff.  The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the French that the president, “is not honored to have this medal bestowed upon him by a nation of slaves who attack other countries that are member states of the United Nations and by a nation which supports terrorism.”  It was first awarded to the president by former French president, Jacques Chirac in 2001 when Dr. Assad paid a visit to Paris. Good show, Dr. Assad.

_______________________________________________
NEWS AND COMMENT:

Absolutely fantastic article with precise analysis depicting the American-British-French attack as an outright fraud.  Sent by one of our anonymous readers:

https://www.sott.net/article/382908-About-Those-Nice-New-Smart-Missiles-And-The-Chemical-Weapons-Sites-in-Syria

John Esq. sends us this article by Elijah Magnier on the failure of the West’s strategy in Syria and how Russia pulled it off:

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/the-us-secret-plan-against-damascus-foiled-russian-role-before-and-after-the-us-uk-france-attack-revealed/

The indefatigable Tim Anderson sends this article about a doctor who doubts the CW claims in the West:

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

Brandon takes on the fraud of the CW in Syria quoting Vanessa very liberally.  Great article:

https://www.activistpost.com/2018/04/us-bombs-syria-to-cover-up-lack-of-evidence-on-chem-attacks-discredits-own-claims-by-doing-so.html

BBC interview with Lord West casts serious doubt about the CW attack in Douma (sent by Tim Anderson):

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/04/17/bbc-reporter-discourages-syria-questions-due-to-information-war-with-russia/

The criminal case against Trump, Macron and May is building. Watch this great interview by Tucker with former British ambassador to Syria.  This is not Robert Ford.  It’s Peter Ford: (From Sarah Abdullah)

Lavrov: After US-led strikes, Russia has ‘no moral barriers’ on S-300 deliveries to Syria – By RT

Lavrov: After US-led strikes, Russia has ‘no moral barriers’ on S-300 deliveries to Syria
Following the US-led bombardment of Syria last week over an alleged chemical attack by Damascus, Russia says it has no reason to not supply its S-300 missile system to Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Moscow agreed with its international partners about 10 years ago to not deliver the S-300 to Damascus. “We took into consideration their argument that this would destabilize the situation, despite the missile systems being a purely defensive system,” Lavrov said in an interview to RIA Novosti.

READ MORE: Russia mulls supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria after US-led strikes

But given the latest spiraling of the crisis – in particular the use of the alleged Douma chemical attack as pre-text for striking Syria – things may take a U-turn. While around a decade ago, Moscow “heeded” the calls of its partners and put the deliveries on hold, the Russian foreign minister said it now has “no such moral obligation.”

In the wake of the US-led operation on Syria, Russia said it may consider sending supplies of S-300 missile systems to Damascus. Moscow believes it is “possible to return to mulling over the issue, and not only with regard to Syria but also to other states as well,” Russian General Staff Spokesman General Sergey Rudskoy stated at that time.

To repel the US-led attack, Syria deployed Soviet-made surface-to-air missile systems, including S-125 (NATO reporting name: SA-3 Goa), S-200 (SA-5 Gammon), 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful) and Buk, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed a while later. Syria intercepted 71 out of over 103 cruise missiles and air-surface missiles launched at civilian and military targets, the MoD said, adding that Russian air defense units stationed in Syria were not involved in repelling the attack.

READ MORE: 5 things you should know about US-led ‘one-time’ strikes on Syria

S-300 surface-to-air missile systems (NATO reporting name: SA-10 Grumble) were developed in the Soviet Union to target aircraft and cruise missiles. Since 2007, Russia has been replacing older S-300 batteries with the more sophisticated S-400s. 

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Interview of the Foreign Minister of Russia with BBC – By The Saker

Interview of the Foreign Minister of Russia with BBC

http://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3172318

 

 

British Navy Submarine Chased Out of Mediterranean by Russian “Black Hole” – By Joe Quinn (Sott.net)

Royal Navy Sub

‘Mayday! Mayday! We’re being hunted by a Russian black hole!’ – A Royal Navy ‘Astute class’ submarine

A somewhat hilarious story has come to light about the shenanigans of the bumbling British Royal Navy in the Mediterranean. The story relates specifically to the only British submarine sent to take part in the recent attack on Syria.

The UK Sunday Times reports:

“While British PM Theresa May was deciding last week whether to launch strikes against Syria, a drama began beneath the surface of the eastern Mediterranean

A Royal Navy submarine armed with cruise missiles is believed to have been hunted by at least one, and possibly two, Russian submarines dubbed “the Black Hole” by western naval experts because they are so quiet.”

Kilo-class Russian ‘hunter-killers’ are powered by two diesel generators and an electric drive, which allows them to operate extremely quietly, and can be armed with torpedoes, cruise and anti-ship missiles.

Russian kilo class sub

A Russian Kilo Class ‘black hole’ submarine

It seems that the British ‘Astute Class’ sub had been trying for several days to approach close enough to the Syrian coast in order to fire some of its 20 cruise missiles at targets in Syria. It was however continually stalked not only by the Russian ‘black hole’ submarine but also by two Russian frigates and an anti-submarine aircraft. As a result, the unfortunate crew of the British sub were unable to fire their missiles at Syria. How disappointing for them.

The Sunday Times article claims that the British submarine was “protected by US navy P-8 maritime patrol aircraft” that aimed to track Russia’s ships and subs. Yet it appears that the Russian kilo class “black hole” submarines were able to operate freely and effectively kick the submarine of the once proud British navy out of the combat zone.

Interestingly, this offers a different, and more likely, explanation as to why at least some of the Russian ships departed their naval base in Tartus a few days before the attack on Syria. A Russian lawmaker and Western media had claimed that they put to sea to avoid being attacked, but it now seems that they had an altogether different plan.

Russian ships tartus

Joe Quinn (Profile)

Joe Quinn is the co-author of 9/11: The Ultimate Truth (with Laura Knight-Jadczyk, 2006) and Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False Flag Terror Attacks (with Niall Bradley, 2014), and the host of Sott.net’s The Sott Report Videos and co-host of the ‘Behind the Headlines’ radio show on the Sott Radio Network.

An established web-based essayist and print author, Quinn has been writing incisive editorials for Sott.net for over 10 years. His articles have appeared on many alternative news sites and he has been interviewed on several internet radio shows and has also appeared on Iranian Press TV. His articles can also be found on his personal blog JoeQuinn.net.

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S-400 and Terminator: WATCH Russian Air Defense Forces in All Their Glory – By Sputnik

The S-400 Triumf anti-air missile system

© Sputnik / Alexey Malgavko
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The foundation day of the Russian Air Defense Forces takes place on the second Sunday of April each year. The establishment of the air defense troops in Russia dates back to 1914, when its first units defended the then-capital Saint Petersburg.

The Russian Ministry of Defense published a video on its official YouTube channel depicting all the might of its air defense forces, marking the 104th anniversary since its establishment. The video shows modern Russian air defense systems such as the S-300 (NATO designation SA-10 Grumble), S-400 “Triumf” (SA-21 Growler) and Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound), as well as its service members in action, performing launch drills.

READ MORE: Russian Military to Get Several New S-400 Air Defense System Regiments

Radio-technical troops shown in the video are equipped with hardware such as the “Nebo-M,” “Podlet-K1,” which can detect aircraft 600 km away and at an altitude of 100 km. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, every day some 2,000 personnel monitor the country’s airspace, detecting and following the movement of up to 1,000 aircraft per day. They undergo regular training with simulated targets, imitating the use of the foremost techniques and armaments in need of being detected and intercepted.

Lavrov on S-300 Supply: After West’s Attack, We Mull All Options to Defend Syria – By Sputnik

A soldier during a military exercise involving S-300/SA 10 surface-to-air missile systems at the Ashuluk training ground, Astrakhan Region.

© Sputnik / Pavel Lisitsyn
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Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry had stated that Russian-made air defense systems deployed by the Syrian forces managed to intercept 71 of 103 missiles, fired by the United States, France and the UK on April 14.

“Several years ago we decided not to supply S-300 systems to Syria at our partners’ request. Now, we will consider options to ensure the Syrian state’s security after this outrageous act of aggression from the United States, France and Great Britain,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the BBC.

READ MORE: Russian S-300 in Syria Will Curb Israel From Operating Against Iran — Researcher

Responding to the interviewer’s question whether the foreign minister was implying that the recent developments in Syria had made Russia rethink its stance on supplies of the S-300 long range surface-to-air missile systems, Lavrov said that Moscow was ready to consider any means to help the Syrian army curb further aggression.

Lavrov’s interview with the BBC came two days after the US, France and the UK carried out coordinated airstrikes against Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by government forces in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian air defense systems managed to intercept 71 out of the 103 missiles, fired by the trilateral alliance. The Ministry’s spokesman said that the Syrian army had used Russian-made air defense systems such as S-125, S-200, as well as Buk and Kvadrat units to repel the missile strike.READ MORE: US-Led Overnight Missile Attack on Syria in Pictures

The joint attack was conducted amid reports, covered by several media outlets, citing militants, that the Syrian army had dropped a chlorine bomb on civilians in Douma, with the infamous White Helmets tweeting purported footage of the aftermath of the alleged chemical weapons’ use. The West was quick to blame the chemical attack on Bashar Assad’s forces, while the Syrian government strongly denied its involvement, denouncing the entire incident as a false flag.

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