Moscow: The Syrian armed forces have effective air-defence systems that can fend off massive air strikes against the country, a top Russian military official said.
"Syria`s air-defence system is a no-nonsense force. As a result, no one has ever used serious air combat power against it," Ground Forces Air Defense commander Maj. Gen. Alexander Leonov said in an interview with radio Ekho Moskvy.
Syria`s air defence systems are a primary target for the insurgents, he added.
Earlier, Syria`s opposition coalition reiterated its condemnation of the Russian government`s policy and position on political and military support for President Bashar al-Assad`s regime but denied it has declared "open season" on Russian nationals.
The UN estimates that nearly 40,000 Syrians have died since the violence began in March 2011.