CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen said he believes the assault by Washington, London and France on Syria’s soil is a great victory for the government of President Bashar Assad, stressing that West achieved noting in Saturday’s heavy air raids.
The United States, the United Kingdom and France launched missile strikes on a number of targets in Syria on Saturday in response to an alleged chemical attack in the Damascus’ suburb of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, while Russia stated that Moscow had proof that it had been a provocation and had been staged by Western-backed NGOs, including the White Helmets. Syria has dismissed all accusations, calling the reports merely fake news that is aimed solely at helping terrorists and justifying potential strikes against Damascus government forces.
“The Syrian government will see this as a major victory,” Pleitgen wrote.
The correspondent for CNN said “three facilities were targeted, but their air defenses appear to have managed to take out at least some of the missiles that were fired toward them and the Syrian military’s capabilities have in no way been depleted”.
The Russian Defense Ministry has stated that most missiles launched by the Western states on Syria had been downed by the Arab Republic’s air defenses. Damascus, for its part, stressed that the US, Britain and France fired 110 missiles towards Syrian targets in Damascus and outside it, but most of the missiles were shot down.
Referring to the harsh comments by officials in Washington, the analysor stated that “before the strikes there was grave concern that the US might conduct a wider-ranging air campaign which could endanger the Syrian military and perhaps even influence the civil war, which government forces have been winning since the Russians entered the scene, but it seems that the strikes “were more symbolic than anything else”.
Tehran, Damascus’ main ally in war on terrorism, strongly deplored the missile strikes led by the US against Syria as a violation of international laws, cautioning of its consequences at the regional and international levels. Russia also said the US and its allies struck civil and military facilities in Syria, violating the UN Charter and international law.
It’s not the first time that Washington claimed the Damascus goverment has used the chemical weapons against the civilians, without any proof. A year ago, the US President ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Shayrat military base in Homs province in response to another unverified chemical attack.
Syrian officials have over and over again denied the allegations, arguing that the chemical attack was staged by terrorist groups, and the government did not need such measures to curb the militants.
Responding to the typically unverified claims, the Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the reports about the alleged use of weapons of mass destruction by the Syrian forces were being spread by the White Helmets, who have been repeatedly busted for fabricating stories and providing fake footage. According to Moscow, no traces of chemical agents had been found in the area where the alleged attack had taken place, and the information was being used to undermine the ceasefire in Syria and prevent the envisaged evacuation of militants from Douma.
The Russian Reconciliation Center has also spoken with doctors in the town, as well as the Syrian Red Crescent, who reported that they had not received any patients with signs of chemical poisoning.