Iran: Further US strikes on Syria ‘very dangerous’
President Hassan Rouhani has warned that further US strikes on Syria as threatened by American and other Western officials could push the region into a “very dangerous” situation.
Rouhani told a news conference in Tehran Monday that a US missile strike against a Syrian airbase last week was “basically wrong” which “benefited terrorism.”
“A repeat of such an action could be very dangerous for the region,” he said of US tomahawking of the Shayrat airfield near the Syrian city of Homs on Friday.
“America did this once, but will it go unanswered next time? Russians have said that a confrontation was only a few inches away. They are quite right, if the missiles had hit a few hundred meters higher or lower, it could have led to a major confrontation,” Rouhani added.
Some 60 US Tomahawk missiles were fired from US warships deployed to the Mediterranean at the Shayrat airfield southeast of the Syrian city of Homs last Friday.
The attack, Rouhani said, was unlike anything the United States had done in the Arab country.
“The Syrian government and people have to answer this on the battlefield and in the face of terrorists,” he said, adding that such response should show Washington that such offensives are unavailing.
Washington ordered the assault after accusing Damascus of carrying out a chemical attack against the town of Khan Shaykhun in the northwestern Syria province of Idlib last Tuesday.
‘In the name of what?’
The pretext under which the Americans carried out the attack is “neither documented nor clear,” said the Iranian president.
Russia, which has been helping Syria against terrorism since last September, says the reportedly dozens of fatalities caused by the Idlib incident were caused after chemical agents were diffused from a militant warehouse.
Iran has proposed formation of “an international fact-finding committee” to investigate the matter, Rouhani said, and reminded that both him and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had stated that “it will be easy” to find out about the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“What if this committee goes there and finds out this has been done by the terrorists? What will the US answer then?” Rouhani asked. “What will become of Syria and the region’s situation if terrorists are to find out that the US will support them whenever they spread some gas?”
The American actions in Syria contradict the international law, logic, and other countries’ interests, he asserted, and said that those states, which cheer Washington for its involvement in the Arab country do so as it reinforces the terrorists.
‘Syria needs reforms’
Rouhani, meanwhile, reminded that there was a need for implementation of some reforms in Syria’s ruling system.
“Iran was, from the beginning, of the opinion that the only way out of Syria’s problem is the ballot box.”