Unconfirmed reports suggest Damascus moved its warplanes to Russia’s Khmeimim airbase in Latakia, Syria – for protection against further US aggression, likely wanting them destroyed.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment, saying “(t)he Kremlin does not have any comments on this issue. We do not deal with the movement of warplanes. You better forward this question to the Defense Ministry.”
Russia uses Khmeimim airbase for its own aerial operations in combating terrorism in Syria. It’s well protected with state-of-the-art S-400 air defense capability – able to strike targets up to 400 km away at altitudes up to 90,000 feet with precisions accuracy.
If reports are accurate, Russia will now protect Syria warplanes against further US attacks – perhaps Putin’s response to Trump, warning against more attacks against Syria’s military, calling his April 7 strike on Shayrat airbase an “illegal act of aggression.”
At Khmeimim, Syria’s military will be able to track all foreign aircraft illegally operating in its airspace. Its intelligence officials will be able to work more closely with their Russian counterparts, operating jointly from the same location.
On Wednesday, an unnamed Israeli defense official falsely claimed Syria retained up to three tons of CWs, calling Washington’s April 7 strike on its Shayrat airbase “another development in the fighting” ahead of more to come.
Separately on Wednesday, Russian Prime Ministry Dmitry Medvedev blasted Washington, saying “(d)uring the election campaign, (Trump) called for combating the so-called Islamic State, saying that it did not matter what the political regime in Syria was because the war on terror was the main goal.”
“But what do we see now? The first step the new US administration took concerning Syria resulted in a strike on the government troops. It means, their fight is not against terrorism but against the Syrian government.”
“(F)urther tensions will only lead to the destruction of the Syrian state, as well as to a partial victory of the terrorists, which is not in line with our plans at all.”
“Our government and the Defense Ministry will continue their work in this connection.”
Russia has no ally in Washington – not in combating terrorism or anything else. Adversarial relations remain. The Trump administration bears full responsibility.