The US and its allies fired more than 100 cruise missiles at Syria, a significant number of which were intercepted by Syrian air defences, the Russian defence ministry said Saturday. "More than 100 cruise missiles and air-to-land missiles were fired by the US, Britain and France from the sea and air at Syrian military and civilian targets," the ministry said in a statement quoted by RIA Novosti news agency. It added that "a significant number" were shot down by Syrian air defences.
The Russian defence ministry also said Saturday that none of the Western strikes in Syria had hit areas covered by Russia`s air defences around its air base and naval facility. "Not one of the cruise missiles released by the US and its allies entered the zone of responsibility of Russian air defences protecting facilities in Tartus and Hmeimim," the ministry said.
As the US attacked Syria, Russia said that actions will have consequences. "Again, we are being threatened. The worst apprehensions have come true. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences," Anatoly Antonov, Russian Ambassador to US said. The Russian ambassador to the US also said that "all responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris. Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible.
The US, France, and Britain announced a joint operation against Syria's government, a week after a suspected chemical attack outside the capital Damascus left more than 40 people dead.
Western strikes early Saturday hit Syrian military bases and research centres in and around the capital and the country`s centre. The world leaders announced that the strikes targeted positions linked to the chemical weapons facilities of the Syrian government.
Moments after the announcement, loud blasts could be heard from the capital and large plumes of smoke emerged from its northern and eastern edges. Syrian state media reported the joint operation hit a research centre northeast of the capital as well as other military installations around Damascus, but said missiles targeting army depots in Homs had been intercepted.
"A short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad," Trump said, in a primetime address from the White House. "A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way. We thank them both."
"This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime," he said of the suspected deadly gas attack a week ago on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma.