LATAKIA, November 13 /TASS/. There are no Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems (Triumph) in Syria. It is misinformation, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, told journalists on Friday.
"Separate reports about our air base that regularly appear in foreign newspapers and publications are really bewildering if not funny. I would like to believe that these tales are being published for the purpose of self-advertising," the general told a briefing organized for foreign journalists as part of a press tour to Hmeymim air base where the Russian warplanes are deployed.
The journalists who have been working at the air base for three days have got a chance to see everything, including the base’s anti-aircraft defense means, with their own eyes. "Of course, there are no and there have never been any S-400 systems here. It’s just misinformation," Konashenkov stressed.
"Prior to frightening the British and the rest of the world with our S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which is deployed in Syria, they ought to have read either the Wikipedia or the Russian Defense Ministry website to get an idea of what it looks like. Then it would have been clear to the editors of this publication how many elements this system has and what area would have been required for its deployment," the general explained.
Representatives of leading media outlets from Britain, France, China, South Korea, Italy, Spain, Greece and other countries have arrived at Hmeymim air base as part of a press tour. According to previous press reports, almost 50 journalists from 12 countries are staying at the base. Konashyonkov noted that the Russian Defense Ministry would continue inviting foreign journalists to Hmeymim.
Russia launched a military operation against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both organizations are banned in Russia) terrorist groups at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on September 30. The Russian air group includes more than 50 aircraft, including Su-34 and Su-24M bombers; Su-25 assault aircraft; Su-30SM fighter jets; Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. Russian naval ships were also involved in the military operation’s initial stage early in October. They fired sea-based Kalibr NK cruise missiles against terrorist targets from the Caspian Sea water area. Russian war pilots have destroyed more than 2,000 militant targets since the military operation started. Russia has no intention to participate in any land operations in the Syrian territory.