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    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais in Damascus, in this handout picture provided by SANA on February 20, 2016.

    Damascus Was Able to Take 'Many Measures,' Had Info on US Missile Attack - Assad

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    US Missile Attack on Syrian Air Base (200)
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    Syrian President Bashar Assad told AFP news agency in an interview that Damascus was able to take "many measures" as the Syrian government "had indications" concerning possible US military action in Syria.

    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.

    Early April 7, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib, which Washington blames on the Syrian government.

    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.

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    US Missile Attack on Syrian Air Base (200)

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    missile attack, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, United States, Russia
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