Assad touts Russian weaponry after US strike in Syria: report

Assad touts Russian weaponry after US strike in Syria: report
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Syrian President Bashar Assad praised Russian weaponry on Sunday, days after Western powers launched a missile strike on chemical weapons facilities in Damascus, according to Russia's TASS news agency

Assad reportedly made the comments during a meeting with Russian lawmakers in Damascus. 

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"From the president’s point of view, that was an act of aggression, and we share that stance. He spoke highly of Russian weapons, which turned out to be superior to the aggressors’ weapons," Russian lawmaker Sergei Zheleznyak said, according to the outlet.

The Syrian leader also reportedly mocked U.S. weapons.

"Yesterday we saw the American aggression, and we were able to counter it with Soviet missiles manufactured in the 1970s. The American films have shown since the 1990s that Russian-made weapons are ‘backward.’ However, today we can see who is really lagging behind," Russian lawmaker Dmitry Sablin quoted the Syrian president as saying. 

Moscow said 71 of 103 missiles fired were shot down by Russian weapons, but the Pentagon disputes that claim. 

While Moscow and Damascus downplayed the impact of the strikes, President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE declared "mission accomplished" on Twitter after the strikes, which were conducted in partnership with the U.K. and France.

U.S. Defense officials also praised the strikes and downplayed the impact of Syria's defense. 

"I’d use three words to describe this operation: precise, overwhelming and effective," said Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., director of the Joint Staff.

Syria launched 40 surface-to-air missiles against the strikes, McKenzie said, adding Syria's missiles were “largely ineffective” and most were launched after the strikes from the U.S., U.K. and France took place.