The Pentagon said none of the missiles fired by the US and its allies were deflected by Syrian air defenses, rebutting claims by the Russian and Syrian governments.
Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Saturday that the strikes were launched to ‘‘cripple Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons in the future’’ and that the missiles ‘‘successfully hit every target.’’
Syria claims to have shot down 13 tomahawk missiles. #SyriaStrikes
— Dominic Wilkerson (@Dominicphotog) April 14, 2018
Another footage of Syrian air-defense missile fired towards tomahawk rockets in the sky of Damascus. pic.twitter.com/7FVcXN5i2F
— Majd Fahd 🇸🇾 (@Syria_Protector) April 14, 2018
The Boston Globe reports,
Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said: ‘‘None of our aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses.’’ He said there also is no indication that Russian air defense systems were employed early Saturday in Syria.
The Russian military had previously said Syria’s Soviet-made air defense systems downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the United States and its allies.
McKenzie says 105 weapons were launched against three targets in Syria.
Characterizing the strike as a success, McKenzie says, ‘‘As of right now we’re not aware of any civilian casualties.’’
McKenzie said the airstrikes ‘‘attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program’’ and that the strikes were ‘‘a very serious blow.’’
White says the strikes do not ‘‘represent a change in U.S. policy or an attempt to depose the Syrian regime.’’ But she says, ‘‘We cannot allow such grievous violations of international law.’’
She also called on Russia to ‘‘honor its commitment’’ to ensure the Assad regime gives up chemical weapons.
White said, ‘‘It was mission accomplished’’ in response to an earlier Tweet by President Trump who siad, “Mission Accomplished!”
White said a Russian ‘‘disinformation campaign’’ has already begun and that ‘‘there has been a 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the past 24 hours.’’