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MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. An attempt to weaken the military potential of the Syrian government troops is the only logical explanation behind Pentagon’s actions in Syria, the Russian defense ministry’s spokesman said Wednesday.
The statement was made in response to Pentagon officials’ claims about the high efficiency of the recent US missile strike on the Syrian government’s Shayrat air base, which they claim had destroyed 20% of the country’s aviation.
"The indicators of allegedly high efficiency of the massive air strike on the Shayrat air base are aimed at the American public, not at professionals," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said. "First of all, it should be noted that all targets of US cruise missiles have been located at a small spot of a classical military airfield, thoroughly examined by satellites. Secondly, most of the so-called targets were large buildings and structures."
"So, those 59 Tomahawk cruise missile would have demonstrated the same efficiency in terms of costs and precision of the strike if they were simply dropped from hot air balloons instead of being launched from a location hundreds of kilometers away," he continued.
"The only logical explanation for Pentagon’s strategic plan on Syria is an attempt to weaken the military potential of the Syrian armed forces, which have been well on the way to defeat terrorists from ISIS and the Nusra Front [terrorist organizations, outlawed in Russia] in the southern parts of Syria," the spokesman added. "However, no notable results were achieved here as well. The government troops continue to free their country from terrorists."
According to the spokesman, Russia launched 128 cruise missiles during its operation in Syria, targeting 74 carefully hidden terrorist-held objects in various parts of the country, including command posts and depots with weapons and ammunition.
"All these targets were successfully destroyed, and terrorists were eliminated," Konashenkov said.
On April 7, US President Donald Trump ordered strikes on Syria’s Shayrat military air base located in the Homs Governorate. The attack, involving 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4. The US authorities believe that the airstrike on Idlib was launched from the Shayrat air base, but failed to provide any evidence of the use of chemical weapons so far. Moscow views the US strike as an aggression against a sovereign state and a clear violation of the international law.