Activist group publishes database of Syria chemical attacks

26 April, 2018, 12:50 | Author: Otis Hoffman
  • Israel warns of attack if Russia air defences used in Syria

The development is part of an ongoing clash of narratives between the West on one side and Syria and Russian Federation on the other concerning the suspected attack. His statement did not specify the weapons, but the remarks follow Russian media reports that Moscow is considering selling its S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Syria. The three governments launched airstrikes into Syria, hitting alleged chemical weapons facilities.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned on April 24 that if Syria uses Russian-made air defense missiles against Israel, it will strike back.

The Syrian Archive, which works with human rights groups such as Amnesty International, said it has verified 861 videos covering some 212 attacks — a lot of them believed to have been carried out by government forces.

The US Department of Defense has seen no verifiable proof to support Russian claims of having in its possession intact Tomahawk missiles captured in Syria, department spokesperson Eric Pahon told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"Even from a successful strike you will find some fragments from the weapons used, but usually not in the kind of sizes that we're talking about here", Shoebridge said.

Israel has not taken sides in the Syrian civil war, but its air force has carried out dozens of airstrikes during the fighting, a lot of them believed to have been aimed at suspected arms shipments to Hezbollah.

Tensions between regional foes Iran and Israel has intensified in recent weeks over the Islamic Republic's military footprint in Syria, which shares a border with Israel.

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Iran-allied Syrian forces shooting down an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by Syrian forces and the infiltration of Israeli airspace by an alleged Iranian drone prompted Israel to strike targets linked to the Islamic Republic in February.

A report in the Kommersant daily earlier in the week, quoted unnamed Russian officials as warning of "catastrophic" consequences for all sides should Israel attack the missile batteries.

Israel and Russian Federation have maintained close contact in order to prevent any clashes between their air forces in the skies over Syria.

Al-Khatib said he and fellow activists try not to get disheartened by the fact that efforts to bring those responsible for war crimes in Syria to trial have so far been unsuccessful.

"For several years we've been constantly in coordination and able to avoid friction with the Russians", he said.

Eight years into the conflict, more than 13 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance; about a quarter of the population is displaced in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, according to the United Nations.

"Russian specialists will continue educating Syrian military personnel and will also provide assistance in the mastery of new means of anti-aircraft defense, the deployment of which will be implemented in the near future", Sergei Rudskoy, head of the operations directorate at Russia's General Staff said, according to state news agency RIA Novosti. "If anyone's shooting at our planes, we'll destroy them", he said.

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