April 14, 2018 / 3:41 AM / in 2 months

Pro-Assad official says targeted bases were evacuated on Russian warning

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian government and its allies have absorbed a U.S.-led attack on Saturday and the targeted sites were evacuated days ago thanks to a warning from Russia, a senior official in a regional alliance that backs Damascus said.

Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus, Syria in this still image obtained from video dated early April 14, 2018. SYRIA TV via Reuters TV

“We have absorbed the strike”, the official told Reuters.

“We had an early warning of the strike from the Russians ... and all military bases were evacuated a few days ago,” the official said. Around 30 missiles were fired in the attack, and a third of them were shot down, the official said.

“We are carrying out an assessment of the material damages,” the official added.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been backed in the seven-year-long Syrian war by Russia, Iran, and Iran-backed Shi’ite groups from across the region, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Samia Nakhoul

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