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11:16 AM, April 14, 2018
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Surface-to-Air missiles seen over Damascus as Syrian air defenses respond to US Attacks (Image: Xinhuanet)

Syrian air defense units have downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the US and its allies since early Saturday, Russian and Syrian media reported.

Referring to the shooting down of missiles launched during the US-led airstrike, Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi 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.

Russian government sources told TASS that 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 former USSR.

"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," a ministry source was quoted by TASS as saying.

Meanwhile US news outlets reported that The US, UK and France launched a series of strikes on three locations identified as critical to Syria's production of chemical weapons, including a scientific research center in Damascus, and a production facility and storage facility in Homs. The outlets quoted US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford as saying.

No reports of casualties or damage to property or infrastructure have come in from the Syrian side so far.

Meanwhile, loud explosions were heard in Damascus with "red dots" seen flying from earth to the sky, reported Syrian state TV and Xinhua reporters in Damascus.

Syrian air defense missiles were launched from Mount Qasioun, which overlooks the capital, with smoke rising from areas in Damascus, according to Xinhua reporters on the ground. The air defense missiles looked like red dots flying from earth to targets in the sky.

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