A Round-up of US Attack Reports: Russia Claims 70% of US Missiles Were Intercepted
April 15, 2018 The Washington Post & Sputnik News & Al-Masdar News & TASS & RT News & The Daily Star
Russia's Defense Ministry said Washington's missiles did little damage. Of 103 US cruise missiles fired, Russia claims 71 were shot down by Syria's Soviet-made air-defense systems. The intercepted missiles included all 12 of those targeting the Al-Dumayr military airfield. The Defense Ministry claims it has "plenty of evidence" that the alleged April 7 chlorine attack was a provocation staged by pro-Western forces. Syria is asking the UN Security Council to denounce Washington's "naked aggression."
Damascus Defiant as Trump-ordered Strikes Destroy Research Center Louisa Loveluck and Liz Sly / The Washington Post
The wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre, north of Damascus. Syrian state news agency reported several missiles hit the centre, "destroying a building that included scientific labs and a training centre."
BEIRUT (April 14, 2018) -- Syria, Russia and Iran shrugged off strikes on Saturday by the United States and its allies against three Syrian chemical weapons facilities, which drew angry condemnations but no indication that there would be a wider escalation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the US-led strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities as an "act of aggression," Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatalloh Ali Khamenei tweeted that the attack represented "a war crime," and the Syrian Foreign Ministry described it as "barbarous aggression."
But the pre-dawn volleys of cruise missiles launched by the United States, Britain and France were limited to three sites linked to Syria's chemical weapons program and triggered no retaliation. Russia said they did little damage and that most of the cruise missiles targeting Syrian sites had been intercepted by Syrian air defenses, including all of those that were bound for the site from which last week's alleged chemical attack originated.
World leaders sought to tamp down any tensions associated with the strike.
"This was not about interfering in a civil war and it was not about regime change," Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May told a news conference in London. "We expressly sought to avoid escalation and did everything to avoid civilian casualties."
In Damascus, there was defiance and relief as residents jolted awake by explosions at around 4 a.m. realized the strikes would be limited. Syrian state television broadcast scenes of citizens taking to the streets to celebrate and demonstrate their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags.
"The honorable cannot be humiliated," said a post from the Twitter account maintained by Assad's office shortly after the attack. A few hours later. the account tweeted a video of him walking nonchalantly to work through the halls of the Syrian presidential palace.
The United States and its allies said three facilities associated with Syria’s chemical weapons program were targeted: a scientific research center in the greater Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs, and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and command post, also near Homs.
Russia's Defense Ministry said they did little damage. In a statement the ministry said that of 103 cruise missiles fired in the US-led airstrike, 71 were shot down by Syria's Soviet-made air-defense systems. The intercepted missiles included all 12 of those bound for the Al-Dumayr military airfield near Damascus, where the chemical attack that triggered the crisis was allegedly launched.
Russia said its own air defenses were not activated because none of the missiles passed through its zone of influence. Russia also said there were no immediate reports of military or civilian casualties. The Syrian army command said three civilians had been injured in the attack on Homs.
The strikes had been flagged so far in advance that Syria and its allies had plenty of notice to evacuate the likely targets of civilians and assets, possibly also including key components of the chemical weapons program, leaving it unclear how much of an impact they would have.
"Thank God this was less than we had feared. We were scared of a bigger assault that could be devastating, but we are happy it was limited and less powerful," said Mayda Kumejian, a Damascus resident contacted by telephone. She described being jolted awake by explosions and the sound of jets roaring overhead.
"This strike is only muscle flexing by Trump to show his power," she said. "Assad's regime is much stronger now."
Crowds gathered in central Damascus expressed defiance, waving portraits of Assad and mocking Trump.
"We tell Trump, you can do nothing. Here we are celebrating to show that you are bankrupt," said a jubilant woman interviewed on state television.
The strikes were in response to an April 7 attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, east of Damascus, that killed an estimated 40 people with some form of lethal gas.
It was the second time in little over a year that the Trump administration has launched retaliatory strikes against Syria in the wake of chemical attacks. Last year's attack targeted the Shayrat air base outside Hama, which US officials said was used to launch a sarin gas attack that killed 70 people in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.
Within a week of last year's strikes, Syrian media broadcast photographs showing that the base was operative again. The latest strikes appeared to go further, targeting the facilities used in the research and production of chemical weapons.
But for Syrians who had welcomed the prospect of an American attack -- and in many cases, called for them over many years -- it did not take long for hope to sour into disappointment.
"We thought it would be much bigger than this," said Ahmed Primo, a journalist and activist now living in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. "Assad might have used chemical weapons this time, but he's been indiscriminately targeting civilians for years. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, hundreds of thousands of people have been disappeared. After seven years of war, we don't believe that anyone will come to help the Syrian people anymore," he said.
The Washington Post's Anton Troianovski in Moscow, Suzan Haidamous in Beirut and Zakaria Zakaria in Istanbul contributed reporting. Facts about Syrian Targets Bombed by US, Allies Sputnik News
(April 14, 2018) -- The United States, along with its UK and French allies, has unleashed a series of missile strikes against a number of locations in Syria over an alleged chemical weapon attack in the city of Douma, which the US leadership blamed on Damascus.
A sudden US-led missile attack against Syria managed to hit a number of targets within the country despite Syrian air defenses reportedly intercepting a number of incoming rockets, according to local media sources.
The targets hit by the attack include the Barzah scientific research center near Damascus, "which includes an educational center and scientific labs," according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Alleged photos of the facility prior to the Western attack have appeared on social media, however, their authenticity cannot be immediately verified.
The Russian Defense Ministry also reported that Dumayr Airbase, located to the east of Damascus, was targeted by twelve missiles but local anti-air assets managed to successfully intercept all incoming threats.
Located approximately 40 kilometers northeast of Damascus, the Dumayr Airbase was extensively used by the Syrian military during the ongoing conflict in the country, and a number of Western media outlets also claimed, citing Syrian anti-government militants, that the base was used to carry out the alleged chemical attack against Douma, which served as a pretext for the US-led strike.
Other targets in Greater Damascus reportedly include a military airbase in Mezzeh and an air defense base at Mount Qasioun, as well as military installations in the vicinity of Al-Ruhaybe and Al-Kiswah.
A total of 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles were launched at targets in Syria by US warships deployed in the Red Sea, tactical aviation over the Mediterranean Sea and B-1B bombers from the al-Tanf area, the Russian Defense Ministry noted.
The Syrian General Staff also declared that the country's air defense systems were able to shoot down most of the missiles aimed at Damascus and at other targets located elsewhere in the country. Syrian Air Defenses Intercept 70% of US Cruise Missiles TASS
Government Forces Mount Defense of Damascus Following US-Led Airstrikes
MOSCOW (April 14. 2018) -- Syria has intercepted 71 out of 103 cruise missiles fired by the United States and its allies, Head of the Russian General Staff's Main Operations Department Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi said on Saturday.
"According to available information, a total of 103 cruise missiles were fired… The Syrian air defense systems basically comprising Soviet-made weapons successfully repelled the strikes by aircraft and naval ships. A total of 71 missiles were intercepted," the general said.
The missile strikes by the United States and its allies were repelled by the S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa air defense systems, the general said.
'This testifies to the high efficiency of the weapon systems operational in Syria and the excellent skills of Syrian servicemen trained by our specialists," Rudskoi said, adding that Russia had fully restored Syria's air defense capabilities over the past eighteen months and continued improving it.
According to the Russian general, the United States and its allies fired cruise missiles, including seaborne Tomahawks and GBU-38 guided bombs from B-1B planes while F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft launched air-to-surface missiles. The UK Air Force's Tornado aircraft fired eight Scalp EG missiles.
The missile strike against Syria's military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by US planes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French air forces between 03:42 and 05:10 Moscow time on Saturday.
The United States, Britain and France said the strikes were in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Douma. According to some sources, ten or so targets were attacked. The Syrian news agency SANA does not confirm this. Aftermath from US Missile Strike on Barzeh Research Center Leith Aboufadel / Al-Masdar News
BEIRUT, LEBANON (April 14, 2018) -- The US, along with their allies France and the UK, unleashed a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria, claiming the attack was in response to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons in the town of Douma.
The three allies fired more than 100 cruise missiles towards several different sites across the country, making this the largest US coalition attack on the Syrian government. Among the many targets for the US coalition was the scientific research center that is located in the Barzeh suburb of Damascus.
The cruise missile strike completely destroyed this site, leaving most of the facility in ruins. [Photos available on Al-Masdar website -- EAW.] First Images from Mezzeh Airbase
After Defending against US-led Airstrikes Al-Masdar
BEIRUT, LEBANON (April 14, 2018) -- The Russian Ministry of Defense released footage on Saturday, reportedly shows part of an S-200 anti-missile defense weapon at Syria's Mezzeh military airbase in Damascus, which was targeted by US-led airstrikes launched against the country. Russian Top Brass Names Syrian
Air Defense Complexes that Thwarted Attack TASS
MOSCOW (April 14, 2018) -- The missile strike carried out by the US, Britain and France has been thwarted by Syria's S-125, S-200, Buk and Kvadrat air defense systems manufactured in the USSR, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Saturday.
"Syrian air defense systems S-125, S-200, Buk and Kvadrat were involved in the operation to thwart the missile strike. These air defense systems were manufactured in the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago," the ministry said.
The US, the UK and France have fired more than 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles at military and civilian targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
"Over 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles have been fired at military and civilian targets in Syria by US, British and French ships," the ministry said. Top Brass: Missiles of US, Allies
Steered Clear of Russian Air Defenses TASS
(April 14, 2018) -- Not a single missile of those launched against Damascus ventured into the zones of Russian air defenses in Tartus and Hmeymim, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday. "None of the cruise missiles launched by the United States and its allies entered the zones of Russian air defenses around Tartus and Hmeymim," the Defense Ministry said.
Russia did not use its air defense systems in Syria to counter the missile strike of the US, UK and France, the Defense Ministry added. "The Russian defense united deployed in the Syrian Arab Republic were not used to counter the strike," the ministry said.
The missile strike against Syria's military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by US planes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French air forces between 03:42 and 05:10 Moscow time on Saturday.
The United States, Britain and France said the strikes were a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Douma. According to some sources, approximately ten targets were attacked. The Syrian news agency SANA does not confirm this information. The Pentagon said twice as many weapons were fired as in April 2017 against the Shayrat airbase. Syrian Science Center Targeted RT News
(April 14, 2018) -- A scientific facility in Barzeh, north of Damascus, has been targeted during the US-led airstrikes overnight. Footage from the scene shows the building has sustained heavy damage. The Center for Scientific Research partially collapsed after reportedly being hit by several missiles during the attack. No one was injured during the strike, according to Syrian state media. It remains unclear whether the facility was, in fact, operational in the first place, however. No Casualties from US-led Strikes on Syria,
Emphasizes Russia's General Staff TASS
MOSCOW (April 14, 2018) -- There are no casualties among civilians and Syrian military servicemen after the US missiles strikes, according to preliminary data, Head of the Russian General Staff's Main Operations Directorate Sergei Rudskoi told reporters at a press briefing in the Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday.
"According to preliminary data, there are no casualties among civilians and Syrian military servicemen," he said. He noted that these reports would be verified, and the public would be informed about them.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile strike against Syria's military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by US planes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French air forces between 03:42 and 05:10 Moscow time on Saturday.
Washington, London and Paris earlier said the strikes were a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Douma. The Defense Ministry reported that Syria's air defense units had shot down 71 of 103 cruise missiles. US Contacted Russia Before Striking Syria to Avoid Casualties -- Envoy to Moscow Sputnik News
MOSCOW (April 14, 2018) -- On Saturday night, the US jointly with the UK and France conducted punitive missile strikes at several targets in Syria, the attack, according to the Syrian General Staff, injured three people.
The United States communicated with Russia before launching strikes on Syria on Saturday to reduce the risk of killing Russian servicemen, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said.
"Before we took action the United States communicated with the Russian Federation to reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties," Huntsman said.
The United States would still welcome possible cooperation with Russia on Syria but wants Moscow to condemn alleged chemical attacks committed by Damascus, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said.
"We would still welcome cooperation with Russia that will do the right thing and join the rest of the world in condemning the Assad regime for its horrific actions and ensuring they cannot happen again," Huntsman said.
Earlier on Saturday, United States President Donald Trump Trump addressed the nation announcing military strikes in Syria in cooperation with France and Great Britain aimed at deterring further chemical attacks, with over 100 missiles targeting various facilities in Syria. The cause of the punitive strikes were unverified reports on an alleged chemical attack in Douma, blamed on the Syrian Government.
The US-led military actions have been welcomed by its allies, including Israel and Germany. Turkey joined as well, describing the attack against the Syrian government as an "appropriate" response.
Other countries strongly condemned the assault, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling it an "act of aggression against a sovereign state that has been fighting against terrorism" and Iranian supreme leader slamming US President Trump, French President Macron and UK Prime Minister May as "criminals." Russian Navy Chief Threatens US Warship
Near Syria with Torpedo Attack: 'We Have No Fear' A US destroyer warship poised to strike the
Syrian government with Tomahawk missiles could be
sunk by torpedoes, a Russian Navy admiral has warned Joshua Nevett / The Daily Star
LONDON (April 14, 2018) -- A torpedo attack could cause "considerable damage" to USS Donald Cook, a guided missile destroyer operating near Syria, Vladimir Masorin, former commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, has said. Although Russia probably won't be required to "sink" the Arleigh Burke-class warship, Masorin said the weapon would be effective nonetheless.
Masorin, who commanded the Caspian Flotilla between 1996 and 2002, warned US President Donald Trump to refrain from bombing Syria over the chemical attack. Waging war is a "dangerous thing" for the US who live in a "completely different world" to Russia, whose Navy has "no fear", he said on Friday.
His bellicose comments come after Trump warned Russia missiles "will be coming" in response to the chemical attack blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The USS Donald Cook, equipped with more than 60 Tomahawk missiles, is among a number of US Navy warships that could be involved in military action against Syria.
"It is unlikely that we will have to sink the Donald Cook," Masorin told Russian TV channel Zvezda. "Yet, a torpedo is a very effective weapon that causes considerable damage to a vessel. Clearly, we are going to deal with a lot of pressure, but war is a dangerous thing for the Americans in the first place. They live in a completely different world over there, but we have no fear, we are fed up with the Americans, they are like a burr in the saddle." What We Know So Far on Syria Missile Strike
Before Probe into "Chemical Attack" Sputnik News
(April 14, 2018) -- On Friday, US President Donald Trump ordered to "launch precision strikes on Syria" in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, described by Moscow and Damascus as a false flag. The attack was joined by British and French air forces. More than 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles were launched at "civilian and military facilities" in Syria on April 14 in line with US President Donald Trump's order.
The US warships Porter, Cook, Higgins carried out the attack from the Red Sea, while the French and UK fighters Mirage and Tornado, respectively, interacted with the US bombers B-1 over the Mediterranean Sea.
Military sources have told Sputnik Arabic that the strikes on Syria had been conducted from a French base in the United Arab Emirates, British bases in Jordan and Cyprus, as well as the US' Incirlik Airbase in Turkey. The attacks were launched on research centers in the administrative area of Barzeh and the village of Jamraya in the capital [Damascus] suburbs as well as the Jebel el Mania district west of Damascus.
According to the source, the strikes on the western part of the Homs province have been fully repelled and that the missiles had not caused any damage.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Syrian defense forces managed to intercept 71 cruise missile out of 103, including all that had been fired at Dumayr military airport located 40 kilometers (24 miles) north-east of Damascus.
The ministry explained that Syria repelled the Western attack by air defense complexes made in the USSR over 30 years ago, including the S-125 and S-200 air defense systems, as well as Buk and Kvadrat. However, the Russian military announced its decision to reconsider supplies of S-300 missile systems suspended due to some Western states' request after the attack.
The ministry underscored that "none of cruise missiles launched by the US and its allies did not enter the zone of responsibility of the Russian air defenses, covering objects in Tartus [naval facility] and Hmeymim [airbase located in the Latakia province].
The Syrian military, in turn, said that the country's air defenses had downed the majority of US, UK and French missiles, with some of them causing material damage.
Syrian President Bashar Assad slammed the attack, saying that Damascus' resolve to "fight and crush terrorism in every inch" would only increase after the strikes. Just hours after the Western missile attack, the Syrian presidency posted a video footage of President Bashar Assad arriving at work.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has denounced the joint US, British and French strikes as a "brutal, barbaric aggression," saying that the attack "aims at hindering the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] mission's work and preempting its results." The ministry stressed that "this aggression will only lead to inflaming tensions in the world and threatens international security."
It was echoed by the Syrian General Staff, which said that the army would continue to fight against terrorism despite the trilateral aggression and that such attacks would only strengthen the government forces' resolve.
Commenting on the move, Pentagon chief James Mattis described US airstrikes on Syria as a "onetime shot," while Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters that Washington had no more attacks planned at the moment.
At the same time, Dunford said he was not aware "of any Russian activity," when asked whether any Russian defenses engaged US, French or British ships or missiles missiles.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May, in turn, said that she has authorized British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to "degrade the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use," remarks that were supported by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he has ordered his country's military to intervene in Syria together with the US and UK, and that the strikes on Syria target "regime chemical weapons capacity."
At the same time, the French foreign minister stated that more strikes possible if Syria "uses chemical weapons again."
Russia: Act of Aggression
Against Sovereign State, Fighting Terror
The Kremlin has issued a statement on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called the strikes an "act of aggression against a sovereign state that has been fighting against terrorism."
At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has condemned the airstrikes, which she said "have been launched at the capital of a sovereign state that has been fighting for survival for years amid terrorist aggression."
She went on to note that the strikes have delivered a serious blow to the Syrian peace negotiation process.
"This move has sent a strong signal to the extremists and militants indicating that what they have been doing so far is correct. The provocation with Damascus allegedly using chemical weapons was staged by the extremists and militants on the ground and as it appears was supported by the countries, which struck [Syria]."
According to the Russian General Staff, it views the strike not as a response to an alleged chemical attack, "but a reaction to the success of the Syrian armed forces in the liberation of its territory from international terrorism." It has emphasized that the attack had been carried out exactly on the day, when the OPCW special mission was set to start its work in Damascus to probe the incident in the city of Douma, where chemical weapons had allegedly been used.
The Russian Embassy in Damascus told Sputnik that it has no reports of Russian nationals killed or wounded in Saturday's strikes launched by the US, the UK and France against Syria.
Middle East Reacts
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has lashed out at the Western states that had conducted a joint massive missile strike on targets in Syria and warned them of "regional consequences," while the Islamic Repiblic's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called the US, French and UK leaders "criminals."
Another state-guarantor of the Syrian ceasefire, Turkey, has stated that its Incirlik airbase, which also hosts US nukes, hadn't been used in the Western attack, though has supported its NATO allies' move.
Iraq, which has long suffered from Daesh* terrorists' occupation alongside Syria, stated that the Western attack on Syrian military targets could give terrorism an opportunity to expand in the region.
"Such action could have dangerous consequences, threatening the security and stability of the region and giving terrorism another opportunity to expand after it was ousted from Iraq and forced into Syria to retreat to a large extent," the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.
The Lebanese Foreign Ministry has slammed the strikes, calling them an "outrageous aggression" against sovereign state.
Reuters cited an Israeli official as saying on condition of anonymity that missile strikes at Syria are "justified" and that Syria's alleged "murderous actions" jeopardize the country's territory, forces and leadership.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Saturday Riyadh expresses "full support to the military operations carried out by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France on military targets in Syria."
Alleged Chemical Weapons Attack in Douma
The announcement of the airstrikes came just hours before the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) team was scheduled to arrive in Douma to determine whether chemical weapons had been used there.
The situation in Syria significantly escalated last week amid reports about the April 7 alleged chemical attack in the city of Duma located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.
The EU and the US have rushed to blame the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, with Damascus refuting the allegations. Moscow has called for a thorough investigation into the alleged attack before drawing any conclusions.
Speaking at the briefing on Friday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the ministry "has plenty of evidence that on April 7, a planned provocation was carried out in Douma to mislead the international community and prod the United States to launch missile strikes on Syria." According to him, the provocation was organized by Syrian NGOs, including the infamous White Helmets.
Konashenkov said that the Russian Defense Ministry has also evidence of the UK's direct involvement in organizing this provocation. He also said that the ministry found those who took part in filming the mock-up chemical weapons attack in Douma and that those participants briefed the ministry on details of filming the clip.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS, Islamic State, ISIL is a terrorist group banned in Russia Syrian to Call on UN Security Council to
Condemn the West's 'Naked Aggression' Sputnik News
MOSCOW (April 14, 2018) -- The airstrikes launched by the United States, the United Kingdom and France on Syria came as terrorists in the war-torn country "badly" needed a moral boost, but this "aggression" will only strengthen and deepen the partnership between Moscow and Damascus, Syria's Ambassador told Sputnik.
"This aggression comes at a time when the terrorist groups in Syria badly needed a morale boost. It will only serve to embolden them for a while. But it will not make a real difference. The armed terrorist groups are doomed, rejected by the local people in the areas they control, and will continue to face one major defeat after another. Syria will not be unnerved by this new aggression," Syria's Ambassador to China and former ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, told Sputnik.
The diplomat added that the strikes would only contribute to the further strengthening of the ties with Russia.
"This attack will only serve to strengthen and deepen Syria's alliance and partnership with Russia. Russia took a vigorous position in exposing the mendacity of the staged chemical attack in Douma. Russia was firm in opposing any Western attack on Syria, and arguably it has succeeded in thwarting a large-scale attack on Syria that could have caused unexpected consequences. We thank Russia for standing by us in this difficult time," Moustapha said.
Damascus will call on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to take action against the "naked aggression" of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, which carried out strikes against the country on Saturday, he added.
"Naturally, Syria will not allow these attacks to divert it from its purposeful determination to wipe out all terrorist pockets and groups regardless of the wrath and hysterics of their Western protectors.
"As for the Security Council, while Syria will urge the council to take action against this naked aggression, it has no delusions whatsoever about its role, capability and integrity. The UN Security Council has been hijacked by the Western powers and, unfortunately, will continue to be so for a very long time," Moustapha said.
The diplomat stressed that the strikes were "merely a continuation in various forms of the same ongoing war against Syria."
"The US, France and Britain come in the first tier of responsibility for the war of destruction aimed at Syria. Whether directly or by proxy, whether using vehicles loaded with explosives and put off in the streets of Syrian cities, bombarding Damascus and Aleppo with mortar shells, or attacking Syrian military positions with jet bombers and Tomahawk missiles -- the motives are the same and the driving force is always the United States," Moustapha said, noting that the Western coalition was "doing a dirty job on behalf of Israel."