Russia and Syria are holding talks on the supplies of additional air defense systems to the war-torn country, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Sputnik.
Al-Assad said that Damascus is interested in Russia’s last generation air defense systems.
“Of course, we need more armaments after the war and because of the consumption, and this is part of the daily relation between the two institutions in the Ministry of Defense in Russia and Syria,” Assad said.
He further disputed the United Nations’ death toll numbers of the six-year conflict, arguing that the West uses inflated figures to justify intervention.
Al-Assad maintained that neither the UN nor any other monitors have the means to calculate the number of casualties because of various factions on the ground, including “foreigners, Syrians and terrorists.”
“Of course, we can talk about thousands of missing people that we don’t know anything about their fate. This is the official number,” al-Assad said.
“So, the numbers that we’ve been hearing in the Western media during the last six years were not precise, it’s only to inflate the number just to show how horrible the situation [is], to use it as humanitarian pretext to intervene in Syria,” al-Assad said.
The US-led coalition of 68 nations is conducting airstrikes against Daesh in Syria without either Damascus’ or the UN’s approval, thus, violating the international law.
Al-Assad further explained why the Syrian air defense did not down US cruise missiles that targeted a Syrian airbase in the Hama province earlier this month.
He said that over 50 percent of Syrian air defenses had been destroyed by terrorists.
“We don’t have to give a precise number now, because as you know it’s military information, but I can tell you more than fifty percent,” al-Assad said of the destroyed air defense systems.
He explained the systems’ inability to take down US Tomahawk missiles on April 7 as “technically complicated because the missile must see its target.”
Terrorist attacks were the second reason behind the Syrian air defense system’s inability to shoot down the Tomahawks, al-Assad added.
Source: Sputnik, Edited by website team
Local EditorIn an exclusive interview with Sputnik, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed that his government demanded sending UN experts to investigate the alleged Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, however its request remains unanswered due to US and other Western countries’ pressure.
“We formally sent a letter to the United Nations, we asked them in that letter to send a delegation in order to investigate what happened in Khan Shaykhun,” al-Assad said.
“Of course till this moment they didn’t send [the experts], because the West and the US blocked any delegation from coming,” he added.
The Syrian President believes that Washington is hampering the probe because if the experts arrive in Idlib, as he was quoted saying: “they will find that all their [the US] narratives about what happened in Khan Shaykhun and then the attack on Shayrat airport was a false flag, was a lie.”
“Now the only contact I think is between Russia and maybe the other countries in order to send that delegation. Till this moment, we didn’t have any positive news regarding any delegation coming,” he added.
On April 4, an alleged chemical attack killed dozens of people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib province.
Without any investigation carried out, the US labeled al-Assad’s government as perpetrators and fired a barrage of Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat airbase, which it said was the source of the attack.
“Actually, since the first attack a few years ago that happened in Aleppo by the terrorists against our army, we asked the United Nations to send investigation delegation in order to prove what we said about the terrorists having gases used against our army, and later many incidents happened in that way, and they didn’t send any delegation. It’s the same now,” al-Assad further noted.
Earlier this week, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] said that it is identifying sarin in samples related to the April 5 incident.
However, the watchdog never explained how it obtained the samples, as its experts have not visited Khan Shaykhun yet.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
21-04-2017 | 08:28