The Syrian president added that Russia did not warn Syria of the upcoming US missile strikes on the Syrian airfield in the Hama province as Washington called Moscow a few minutes before launching cruise missiles or even after it.
"No, they didn’t warn us because they didn’t have the time to warn, because the Americans called them maybe a few minutes before the launching, or some say after the launching, because it takes time to reach the base," Assad told AFP in an exclusive interview when asked whether or not Moscow warned the Syrian authorities of the US missile attack.
"But actually, we had indications that there was something that was going to happen, and we took many measures in that regard," Assad added as quoted by state-run SANA news agency.
Russia described the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state. Following the US military action, Russia decided to suspend its memorandum of understanding on air safety over Syria with the United States, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Pentagon said it informed Russia of the upcoming attack on the Syrian airbase. Russian officials confirmed the information, however, said that there were indications that the US missile strikes had been prepared long before the attack took place.
Syrian opposition claimed on April 4 forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had used a chemical gas on people in the northwestern province, killing nearly 80 and injuring 200. Assad argued his government has no chemical weapons after agreeing to have them destroyed in 2013. He also ruled out having used chemicals against own people.