BEIJING, April 16. /TASS/. The missile strikes on Syria carried out by the US, Great Britain and France was a political step not aimed at raising tensions, Chinese experts told the Global Times daily.
"Just like in 2013, ‘chemical attacks’ always happened when the Syrian government made gains in the war, which means the government doesn't need to use chemical weapons at all, and the video provided by the West is questionable evidence, so it looks like the West created an excuse to intervene in the Syrian war," Hua Liming, an expert on the Middle East and a former Chinese ambassador to Iran, said as cited by the daily.
According to him, the recent attack on Syria was nothing more than a demonstration of power. "No Russian or Iranian military bases have been affected so far, and the Syrian government's strategic advantage will not be damaged too much by this kind of missile strike, so it will still maintain its edge in the civil war," Hua Liming pointed out.
"The targets have been selected carefully, and the strikes will be limited. It shows that the US and its allies won't start a full-scale war with Russia, and they are not trying to destroy the Syrian government," said Gu Zhenglong, a senior research fellow at the Xinhua Center for World Affairs Studies.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile attack on Syria’s military and civilian infrastructure facilities was carried out by US warplanes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French on Saturday. The Syrian air defenses managed to shoot down 71 out of 103 missiles fired by the United States and its allies.
Earlier, the US, Great Britain and France claimed the strikes had been conducted in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital.
Washington, London and Paris claimed the strikes to be a response to a chemical weapons attack, which had allegedly happened in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7. Reports about the incident had been spread by a number of non-government organizations, including the White Helmets.
The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed those allegations as a bogus story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information as they were known for spreading fabricated news.
On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria visited Douma but did not find any traces of chemical weapons.