Russia promised they would come to the aid of the Syrian government if the United States, or any of the coalition countries, fired on Syria. That promise was tested this past weekend as the U.S., Britain, and France all fired on Syrian chemical weapons facilities. After the dust had settled, Russia claimed it downed 71 cruise missiles.
.@mod_russia : of 103 missiles, 71 intercepted by Syria’s air defences. No serious damage at airfields. Two former industrial sites hit with no people or equipment in place.https://t.co/7g05zNTWoX pic.twitter.com/0qqNZ2Pfvu
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) April 14, 2018
That number is lower, according to the Pentagon. Very low, in fact. The Pentagon says none of the missiles were shot down.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. General Joseph Dunford, told reporters that the targets included a research facility in the Syrian capital of Damascus, a storage facility believed to house chemical weapons west of Homs, and a command facility outside Homs.
All three of these were thought to be connected with the manufacture or storage of chemical weapons.
Yet the Russians are pushing a different narrative. “In a press conference [Saturday] Russian Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, Colonel Sergei Rudskoy, said Syrian military facilities had suffered only minor damage from the strikes,” The Aviationist writes.
Pentagon spokesperson Dana White told reporters that the Russian story was bogus. U.S. Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., The Director of the Joint Staff (DJS), released photos of the three targets openly being discussed.
“We are confident that all of our missiles reached their targets,” Lt. Gen. McKenzie said.
The Russians had also promised to destroy the sources of the missises. All of the aircraft used in the attacks returned safely. And all of the ships and submarines used to launch missiles, too, are accounted for.