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Putin condemns attack on Syria but does not threaten retaliation

Russia notes with relief the containment of the western attack

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Putin condemns attack on Syria but does not threaten retaliation

Containment — not escalation — characterized first Russian reactions to US military action and British and French allies against Syrian military facilities on Friday night. Judging by Russian representatives ' statements, pragmatic realism, based on situation on ground, non-existence of Russian casualties and unpredictable consequences of a military response, prevail over translation of rhetoric War in concrete actions.

On Saturday morning, President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of "playing" terrorists and "aggravating humanitarian catastrophe" in Syria. In a statement released by Kremlin, Putin condemned "in most serious way" "aggression" committed by US and its allies "against a sovereign state that is at forefront of fight against terrorism." In addition, Russian head of State announced convening of an extraordinary meeting of UN Security Council to "debate aggressive actions of United States and its allies." Putin, however, did not warn or announce any specific Russian responses to Allied attack.

The Ministry of Defence, for its part, announced that none of Allied missiles had fallen in area controlled by Russian anti-aircraft defenses, which are responsible for installations on bases of Tartu and Jmeinim. The Russians were previously warned of circumstances of attack, according to American ambassador to Moscow, Jon Huntsman. Unverified sources point out that Syrian airmen had found refuge in Russian bases in Syria. Israeli sources had previously reported that Russian ships had temporarily abandoned ir bases in Syria in anticipation of American attack.

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The fact that re have been no casualties or damages in Russian military contingent displaced to Syria since autumn of 2015 in support of Asad regime indicates that danger of an uncontrolled escalation between Moscow and Washington, for time being, has been conjured up. Russian military experts are divided on measures that Moscow could take (or have taken) in that case. Now, y concentrate ir idea of success in war potential of anti-missile systems supplied by Russia to Damascus and in percentage of allied missiles intercepted.

The Russian Ministry of Defence reported that Allied attack had launched more than 100 air-to-ground cruise missiles, of which "a substantial part" had been intercepted by Syrian anti-aircraft defenses, installations of type S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat, That had been manufactured more than 30 years ago by Soviet Union. In April 2017, number of cruise missiles launched by United States was 59.

In general staff, y stated that y were prepared to examine supply of S-300 anti-aircraft missile equipment to Syria and or countries, according to Sergey Rudskói. This military pointed out that Syrian staff successfully intercepted 71 of 103 missiles launched by Allies.

According to Putin, like a year ago when US attacked Syrian base of Shairat, "excuse" for American action has been "staging of an attack on civilian population with toxic substances," this time in Duma, outside Damascus. Putin assured that Russian military experts, who were at scene of incident, "did not detect traces of use of chlorine or or toxic substances" and that "no local inhabitant confirmed chemical attack." The Russian leader accuses US and its allies of engaging in military action "cynically ignoring" mission sent to Syria by Chemical Weapons Prohibition Organization (OPCW) and without waiting for results of investigation to be carried out by Specialists in this organization.

"With ir actions, US furr aggravates humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, causes suffering to civilian population and in fact play game of terrorists who have martirizan Syrian people for seven years." "The current escalation of situation around Syria exerts a destructive influence on entire international relations system," Putin says. In Syria, Moscow acts jointly with Turkey and Iran in a partnership between partners whose strategic objectives differ from each or.

In current situation are interesting statements of expert Fedor Lukianov made on Saturday to agency Interfax. "Russia needs a review of its goals and possibilities in Syria and a strategy to exit conflict in country in a medium-term perspective, as vulnerability will increase," said Lukiánov, a director of research at Valdai Club, a Institution serving interests of Kremlin.

"The attack on Syria has shown," according to Lukianov, "that United States has possibility of showing its dominant role in region with minimal losses." "In or words, that degree of influence that Russia achieves through a hard and difficult, and sometimes risky, work, can be sunk by USA through a single action of destructive force and this influences atmosphere of whole region as a whole" said expert.

"To Russia re is a difficult question. Responding to force action in an analogous way is tantamount to going to a certain escalation with unforeseeable consequences. " "It is necessary for Russia to revise its real objectives and possibilities in Syria. In current situation, this is not a question of responding immediately, but elaboration of a strategy, including exit of conflict. The vulnerability will increase, "he said.

Recently, in Tehran, Lukianov had said that US transformation of "a malicious observer into an active attacker from Russia and Iran, pushes two countries to collaborate in specific fields," and noted that Tehran and Moscow should participate in Construction of a new global system, which is "inevitable, because or is made up."

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