Rouhani, Assad discuss US strike over phone
President Hassan Rouhani and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad have held phone talks over a US missile strike which targeted an airbase used as a frontline in the battle against foreign-backed terrorists.
President Rouhani “expressed strong condemnation of the blatant US aggression on the Syrian territories,” the Syrian state news agency SANA quoted a presidential office statement as saying on Sunday.
“President al-Assad said that the US failed in achieving the goal behind this attack which is to raise the morale of the US-backed terrorist groups after the victories achieved by the Syrian Army,” the agency said.
Some 60 US Tomahawk missiles were fired from US warships deployed to the Mediterranean at the Shayrat airfield southeast of the western Syria city of Homs on Friday.
Assad reaffirmed the determination of the Syrian people and armed forces to continue their struggle against terrorism, SANA said. He also expressed gratitude to Iran for standing by Syria in the battle, it added.
Iran has been lending military advisory support to the Syrian Army and the Iraqis in their battle against foreign-backed terrorist groups.
Washington ordered the assault after accusing Syria of carrying out a chemical attack against the town of Khan Shaykhun in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday.
Also on Sunday, Rouhani, who has already urged an investigation into the matter, further questioned the circumstances surrounding the assault which came without a UN Security Council or US congressional permission.
“How do they allow themselves to do this? By what right and logic?” he asked, delivering an address in Tehran.
“Has anyone entrusted the authority of leading the world with the US? Has anyone chosen the US as the world police?” he questioned.
“Still worse are the countries from our own region, which cheer the US invasion and clap for America. Why do you rush yourselves into encouraging the invader and the oppressor?” he said.
“Don’t worry. One day it will be your turn,” Rouhani added.
Separately, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani addressed the issue of the attack, calling it “a start and not a closure.”
“You have fanned the flames of the crisis, whose consequences will befall on you,” he stated.
He also asked why the attack had preceded any fact-finding operation, and likened it to the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, which had failed to succeed in the face of terrorism.