Sa bushfires: residents begin to count their losses as blaze continues to spread
DAMASCUS, SYRIA - MAY 23: Smoke rises over Damascus, Syria as smoke plumes from the Al-Hama airport continue to rise over western parts of the country, May 23, 2017. The city's skyline is shrouded in thick smoke from the Al-Hama airport which was destroyed by a massive blaze which destroyed the base of Al-Hama's tallest building this past weekend. The city's skyline is shrouded in thick smoke from the Al-Hama airport which was destroyed by a massive blaze which destroyed the base of Al-Hama's tallest building this past weekend. (Photo by Wafaa Mahmood/Agency/Getty Images) Up Next See Gallery Discover More Like This HIDE CAPTION SHOW CAPTION of SEE ALL BACK TO SLIDE
He is also working with the Department of National Defence to identify and monitor areas of the country where large-scale civilian casualties are expected, his spokesman said.
"This is something that he is working to make the maximum difference," said the spokesman, Capt. Naim Yassin.
In a statement released Tuesday, Sargsyan said: "The destruction of a large-scale industrial project in the Al-Hama area, the destruction of an important communications building and the loss of civilian life is a major blow to Syria. It is impossible to explain why the Syrian Armed Forces did what they did, but this is the reality. We should support and learn from the decision makers so that they see that the decisions are good ones when they are based on necessity, not just politics and ego."
The report's authors suggested the destruction of Al-Hama was the result of heavy US air strikes on Monday that have displaced over 2,500 people and also caused thousands of houses to collapse. The deaths had already surpassed 2,300 on Saturday, according to a recent government report.
The destruction of the Al-Hama plant â€” which accounts for about 20% of Syria's annual chemical production â€” resulted in the "collapsing" of a half-mile-wide section of the plant's concrete floor, which had been used as a concrete factory to manufacture chlorine.
"The results of all the work that was being done by the engineers and technicians has now been put to waste," Sargsyan noted, "with no other use to its occupants and a potential risk of an explosion that could have already caused damage that is greater than what was in the factory. It is important to know that Al-Hama is not alone, as all of these actions have led to a huge number of civilian deaths."
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