Date
21 September 2017
A still image taken from a video broadcast on Syrian state TV on April 7 shows an army airbase that was hit by a US strike near the city of Homs. Credit: Reuters
A still image taken from a video broadcast on Syrian state TV on April 7 shows an army airbase that was hit by a US strike near the city of Homs. Credit: Reuters

US attack on Syria air base crossed ‘red lines’: Assad allies

A joint command center made up of the forces of Russia, Iran and militias supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad slammed Friday’s US strike on a Syrian air base, saying the move crossed “red lines”, Reuters reports.

“What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well,” the group was quoted as saying in a statement Sunday.

The joint command center said the presence of US troops in northern Syria, where Washington has hundreds of special forces helping the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to oust Islamic State, was “illegal” and that the US had a long-term plan to occupy the area.

The regional alliance said the US cruise missile strikes will not deter their forces from “liberating” all of Syrian territory.

On Friday, the US fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack had been launched earlier in the week, escalating the US role in Syria and drawing criticism from Assad’s allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani said in a phone call that aggressive US actions against Syria were not permissible and violated international law, the Kremlin said on Sunday.

The two leaders called for an objective investigation into an incident involving chemical weapons in Idlib and said they were ready to deepen cooperation to fight terrorism.

In Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the US missile strike was a “a strategic error, and a repeat of the mistakes of the past,” the state news agency IRNA reported.

“The Islamic Republic has shown that … it does not back off and its people and officials … do not retreat in the face of threats,” said Khamenei.

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