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Syria hands over two unexploded cruise missiles to Russia found after US strike — source

April 19, 5:32 UTC+3

On April 14, the United States, the UK and France delivered missile strikes on Syria’s military and civilian infrastructure facilities

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© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

DAMASCUS, April 19. /TASS/. Two cruise missiles found unexploded by the Syrian military after the US missile strike on April 14 have been handed over to Russia, a source in the Syrian defense ministry told TASS on Thursday.

"Two cruise missiles that did not detonate during the US missile strike on Syria overnight to April 14 were found by the Syrian military. Both are in rather good condition. These missiles were handed over to Russian officer the day before yesterday (April 17)," the source said, adding that both "were sent to Russia by plane yesterday (April 18)."

TASS has no official confirmation of this information from the Russian defense ministry.

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on April 11 that Russia should get ready for a missile attack on Syria, claiming the missiles will be "nice and new and smart".

On April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom delivered a massive strike on Syrian targets in bypassing of the United Nations Security Council. According to the Russian defense ministry, the missile strike was in the small hours on Saturday. The ministry reported that a total of 103 cruise and air-to-surface missiles had been fired, 71 of them were shot down by Syria’s air defense units. Three civilians were wounded. Neither of the missiles appeared in the zone of responsibility of Russian air defense systems in Tartus and Hmeymim. Russian missile defense systems were not used.

The United States, the UK and France said the strikes had been a response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma on April 7 reported by some non-governmental organizations, including White Helmets.

The Russian foreign ministry dismissed that as fake news. The Russian defense ministry stated that White Helmets were an unreliable source, notorious for disseminating falsehoods. The Russian center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties on April 9 examined Douma to find no traces of chemical weapons. Earlier, various official Russian agencies repeatedly warned that preparations had been underway in different parts of Syria for provocations and simulations of chemical attacks that would be blamed on government forces.

OPCW inspectors arrived in Syria on April 14 to collect samples to either confirm or dismiss reports on the chemical attack.

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