DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Western strikes on government military installations today only made him more keen to fight back against his opponents, in comments published by his office.
“This aggression will only make Syria and its people more determined to keep fighting and crushing terrorism in every inch of the country,” Assad, in his first reaction to the strikes, told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.
The United States, France and Britain on Saturday struck targets in Syria with airstrikes in retaliation for an apparent chemical weapons attack outside Damascus by Bashar al-Assad’s regime that had left more than 40 people dead last week.
Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted the heart of Assad’s programs to develop and produce chemical weapons.
A Syrian military statement said in all, 110 missiles were fired by the U.S., Britain and France and that most of them were shot down or derailed. Russia’s military said Syrian air defense units downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the U.S. and its allies.
The Syrian statement read by Brig. Gen. Ali Mayhoub said three civilians were wounded in one of the strikes on a military base in Homs, although the attack was aborted by derailing the incoming missile. He said another attack with “a number of missiles” targeting a scientific research center in Barzeh, near Damascus, destroyed a building and caused other material damage but no human losses. Mayhoub said the building housed an educational center and labs.__Hindustan Times