The US has ridiculed Russia’s claim that Syrian fighters shot down 71 of the 105 missiles fired in the Damascus airstrikes and described the falsehood as the start of a ‘disinformation campaign’.Since the US, UK and France pummeled three targets on Friday night, Russian troll activity has surged by 2,000 percent, according to the Pentagon. It is a sign of Moscow’s attempt to try to cover up how successful the coordinated attack was and support the Assad regime. Before the US confirmed on Saturday that none of its missiles were compromised and none of the aircraft interfered with, Russian officials made the claim that only 30 landed on their targets. Russia’s Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said the hail of missiles did little damage, claiming Syrian fighters, using the 30-year-old missile defense systems Russia had given them, were able to bring them down.He credited ‘the high effectiveness of the weaponry in Syria and the excellent training of Syrian servicemen prepared by our specialists”’Dana White, the Chief Pentagon Spokesperson, and Joint Staff Director Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie laughed off the claim on Saturday. ‘I can’t help you with what the Syrians are saying but I what I am telling you is what actually happened,’ the General said. White said the lie was the start of a now well-known troll campaign to spread false information. ‘The disinformation campaign has already begun. ‘There has been a 2,000 increase in Russian troll activity in the last 24 hours,’ she said. There was no Russian interference in the airstrikes and US officials have put a firm emphasis on the deconfliction process between the Kremlin and Washington which involves open channels of communication over each country’s plan in Syria in order to avoid conflict. Gen. McKenzie emphasized on Saturday that while deconfliction is in place, Russia has no veto over the US’s action in Syria. ‘The Russians don’t have a veto on anything that we do. ‘We are not cooperating with them in Syria. ‘We don’t want to get into a fight with them and they don’t want to get into a fight with us and the best way [to avoid that] is to share information but we are not cooperating with them,’ he said.The Russian military is supporting the Syrian regime, purportedly in its fight against ISIS, however it is yet to condemn or even acknowledge Assad’s continued use of chemical weapons on the non-IS rebels he is separately fighting against.
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