Syrian President Bashar Assad told a group of Russian lawmakers Sunday that Western missile strikes on his country were an act of aggression, Russian news agencies reported.
The Russian lawmakers met with Assad after the United States, France and Britain launched missile strikes on Syria on an alleged pretext of a suspected poison gas attack a week ago.
“From the point of view of the president, this was aggression and we share this position,” Russia’s TASS news agency quoted lawmaker Sergei Zheleznyak as saying after the meeting with President Assad.
The Syrian president was in a “good mood” and continuing his work in Damascus, agencies cited the lawmakers as saying, and praised the Russian air defense systems used by Syria to help to repel the Western attacks.
A senior Russian military official said on Saturday that Syria’s air defenses, which mostly consist of systems made in the Soviet Union, had intercepted 71 of the 105 American, British and French missiles.
“Yesterday we saw American aggression. And we were able to repel it with Soviet missiles from the 70s,” Russian lawmaker Dmitry Sablin quoted Assad as saying, TASS reported.
Sablin also said Assad accepted an invitation to visit the Siberian region of Khanty-Mansi in Russia.