Rouhani: US-Led Attacks on Syria to Support Terrorists

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin deplored the US-led attacks on Syria as a cover-up to back the terrorist groups.


"The aggressive move by the US in carrying out military strikes against Syria reveals that Washington has direct ties with terrorists," President Rouhani said during the phone talk with President Putin.


He underlined that the Americans showed such a reaction when they felt that the terrorists were dislodged from an important region like Eastern Ghouta


The Russian president, for his part, said the strikes conducted by the US and two Western countries against Syria under any pretext were a blatant violation of international law and an international crime.


The Claims about the use of chemical weapons in Syria are baseless and against the realities on the ground, he added.


Putin emphasized that Tehran and Moscow have a common stance on many regional and international developments.


Both Tehran and Moscow are giving Damascus a helping hand in its countrywide counter-terrorism battles. Iran has been offering military advisory assistance to the national Syrian army, while the Russian air force is providing air cover to its ground operations.


Putin said the missile attack on Syria was carried out before the announcement of the results of investigations into the use of chemical weapons in the Arab country.


He added that the United Nations was founded to build consensus among countries, adding that it should not serve the political interests of certain powers, because it would create more chaos on the international scene.


The Russian president emphasized that acts of aggression would not stop his country's fight against terrorism and extremism in the region, particularly in Syria.


He also stressed the importance of more efforts and consultation among Iran, Russia and Turkey in order to restore peace and stability to Syria after the US-led military strikes.


US, British and French forces launched over 100 missiles on Syria early Saturday morning, and Russia says Damascus has managed to dodge 71.


In a televised address to the nation, US President Donald Trump said the three nations partnered in the missile launch.


The strikes were the biggest overt attack by the three Western powers against Syria in the country's seven-year-old civil war, which has pitted the US and its allies against Russia.


Other NATO members refrained from partnership in the attack, although NATO secretary general voiced his support for the move.


Israel was also absent from Saturday's strike, fearing Iran's response. After a recent missile strike on Syria's T4 base that killed 12, including 7 Iranian military advisors, Tel Aviv has been on guard in anticipation of Iran's tough reprisal.


Reports coming out of a national security meeting in the White House three days ago said Defense Secretary James Mattis opposed striking targets that would provoke Tehran and Moscow's response, urging Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton to think wisely and narrow down the scope of the attack.


The Pentagon claimed the strikes targeted a research center in greater Damascus and a chemical weapons storage facility and a command post west of Homs, while the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has officially stated complete disarmament of Syria since two years ago.


The missile strikes took place as a team of OPCW is in Damascus to probe the alleged chemical incident in Douma last week, but the trio western allies didn't wait for the result of their work for somehow unknown reasons.


Following the attack, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei voiced strong condemnation for the aggression, and described the American, British and French heads of state as war criminals.


"This early morning strike against Syria is a crime. I clearly declare that the US, French and British heads of state are criminals and committed a crime," Ayatollah Khamenei said.


Meantime, the Iranian foreign ministry also strongly condemned the attack, warning that the aggression would entail dire repercussions in the region and beyond.


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a phone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem deplored the Saturday morning US-led missile strikes against Syria, describing the move as "criminal and illegal".


Also, President Rouhani condemned the missile strikes, stressing that the attacks were the result of Washington and its allies' anger and desperation at the recent defeats sustained by the western-backed terrorists in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus.


"The US aggression on the region will lead to nothing but annihilation and destruction," Rouhani said, asking whether the US, the Zionist regime of Israel and their allies, specially the UK and France, have not learned a lesson from the incidents in the past 17 years.


Also in a phone conversation with President Assad, Rouhani vowed to continue support for Syria after the Saturday morning strikes.


During the phone conversation on Saturday, President Rouhani told Assad that Tehran will stand by Damascus, and voiced confidence that "this aggression would not weaken the determination of the Syrian people in its war against terrorism".


The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), meantime, in a statement strongly condemned a recent attack by the United States, Britain and France on Damascus, and said such onslaughts would boost the Syrian nation’s resolve in its fight against terrorism.


"The US, Britain and France carried out the criminal and deceitful attack in Syria based on a false claim that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in the militant-held town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta region," the IRGC's statement said.


Also, Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brigadier General Yadollah Javani warned the US to "wait for the repercussions of its attack on Syria", saying that the Saturday offensive "gave the Resistance Front a more open hand for showing reaction to such moves by the US and its allies".


Russia's Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in a statement that Russia had warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences".


Syrian state TV said the attacks wounded six people in Damascus and three others in Homs.


Later on Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry declared in a statement that the Syrian air defense units have intercepted 71 of the 103 missiles fired at the country.


Several explosions were heard in the Eastern and Southern parts of the capital of Damascus. Al-Alam Arabic TV displayed scenes of public gathering in support of the government in the streets of Warzah in Damascus near an attack site.


Footage coming from Syria shows that people are waving flags of Syria, Iran and Russia in the streets of Damascus, in a show of appreciation.


Witness accounts said nearly 20 Cruise missiles flew towards targets around the capital, but nearly half of them were intercepted.


The Syrian state-run news agency also said that "many missiles missed their targets or were intercepted thanks to the Syrian air defense".


A senior commander of the coalition supporting Syria in the war on terrorism said Damascus had already evacuated the targeted sites after it had been alarmed by the Russian intelligence services few days ago.


The Russian defense ministry said none of its bases and sites in Syria has been targeted. But the Arabic service of Russia's state news agency Russia Today said the attack by the trio western states "sparked a major war that will herald World War III".


The Russian Defense Ministry stated that most missiles launched by the Western states on Syria had been downed by the Arab Republic's air defenses, when approaching targets.


"The Syrian air defense system has been conducting an anti-air fight," the Ministry added.


According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syria repelled the Western attack by air defense complexes made in the USSR over 30 years ago.


"Syrian means of air defense: S-125, S-200 air defense systems, Buk and Kvadrat were used in the repelling the missile strike," it noted.


Russia's air defenses haven't been used to repel the missile strike on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Military underlined.


"None of cruise missiles launched by the US and its allies did not enter the zone of responsibility of the Russian air defenses, covering objects in Tartus [naval facility] and Hmeymim [airbase located in the Lattakia province]," the Russian Defense Ministry explained.


According to the Russian military, the massive missile strike on objects of military and civilian infrastructure was conducted by US warships jointly with the UK and French air forces.


Hezbollah of Lebanon also issued a statement minutes ago, vowing to stay beside Syria.


 


 


 


 


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