08:49 GMT04 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - 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.

    "On the claim the Russians have an ‘intact’ Tomahawk, we have seen no verifiable proof, other than statements made to Russian state-owned media," Pahon said. "If such a claim were true, we certainly would have seen proof by now."

    Earlier on Wednesday, Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Chief Sergey Rudskoy announced that Russian specialists were examining missiles of the US-led coalition captured in Syria, including Tomahawk cruise missiles, which had been handed over to the Russian military.

    Pahon said Russia is using a disinformation campaign to distract attention from having moral complicity in supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad and "the regime’s atrocities and the civilian carnage in western Syria."

    The spokesperson reiterated that if Russia’s claims were true, "we certainly would have seen proof by now, consistent with the Russian propaganda machine's normal modus operandi."

    Pahon also said Russia has wasted its time by conducting analysis of the strikes by the United States and its allies in mid-April, and urged Moscow to focus its efforts on enabling humanitarian aid deliveries as well as pushing Assad in a direction to peacefully resolve the conflict in Syria.

    On April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom carried out strikes on Syria after reports of a chemical attack in the city of Duma, which they blamed on the Syrian government.

    The Syrian government and Russia refuted the allegations, saying the attack was staged by the Jaish al-Islam terrorist group to justify a foreign intervention in Syria, and condemned the Western strikes as being conducted in violation of international law.


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