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The Russian Navy has launched live-fire exercises off the Syrian coast as the US is still preparing for a possible military action against the country’s government.
The Russian exercises will be held from April 11 to April 26, the period when, according to some experts, the US strike will be most likely if the administration of US President Donald Trump decides to attack Syria.
On April 10, Russia’s envoy to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin once again confirming that Russian forces are ready to shoot down missiles and target the launchers in case of an escalation in the war-torn country.
Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, vowed to support the Damascus government against any attack of the US and its allies.
On the other hand, Israel, which is alongside with Saudi Arabia, is the main Iranian competitor in the region openly supports a US military action against Syria. Housing Minister Yoav Galant, a former commander of the Israeli Defense Forces Southern Command, publicly vowed to assassinate the Syrian president arguing that “the world will be a better place without Assad.”
The UK, France and Germany are following the course of the US administration.
According to the Ministry of Defense of Russia, over 3,354 fighters of Jaysh al-Islam and 8,642 members of their families had been evacuated from Duma district since the evacuation agreement was reached between the group and Damascus on April 8.
The number of the remaining fighters of Jaysh al-Islam in Duma district is unknown. However, local sources expect that the evacuation process will be over within 48 to 72 hours. Formally, the Syrian Army already established a full control of the area.
On April 12, serivcemembers of the Russian Military Police are set to be deployed in the Duma district. According to pro-government sources, they will secure the area for OPCW investigators that may arrive area later this week to probe the alleged chemical attack, which took place there on April 7.
Russia, Syria and Iran described the chemical attack reports as provocation while the US and its allies used them to increase pressure on the Assad government and started drawing up plans for military actions against Damascus.