TALLINN - Russia needs to calm down its own people using propaganda after the U.S. missile strike on the Syrian air base, whereas the only actual negative decision made in the wake of the attack is the cancellation of a meeting of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Vladimir Putin, Ants Laaneots, member of the Estonian parliament's national defense committee said.
Where Russia has described the U.S. attack in Syria as weak, causing limited damage and most of the missiles failing to reach their targets, Laaneots said in his remarks on the evening news of ETV public television on Monday that images from Israel's satellite intelligence show a different picture.
"According to their information 44 items were hit and destroyed, including nine military aircraft that were destroyed, and the infrastructure fully destroyed. What they didn't touch is the runways," the retired general and former commander of the Estonian defense forces said.
Following the attack, Russia closed the so-called hotline by which Russia and the United States used to notify each other for years of the locations of their military aircraft.
According to Laaneots, Russia made that decision based on emotions and in great confusion.
"There's no reason to be shooting down each other's aircraft there. But both sides have got their hands free. If we look at air supremacy, the coalition forces definitely have much more airpower than Russia," he added.
Asked if Russia could seek to strike back at the United States elsewhere if the conflict in Syria escalates and could choose to do it in the Baltics, for instance, Laaneots said that one should not overdramatize the situation.