Published: Sun, April 15, 2018

Russia, Iran Denounce Airstrikes on Close Ally Syria

Russia, Iran Denounce Airstrikes on Close Ally Syria

It concludes that there is "no plausible scenario other than that of an attack by Syrian armed forces".

Analyst Hossein Sheikholeslam, a former Iranian ambassador to Damascus, told state television the attacks would help unite Syrians behind the government.

Immediately after the attack, hundreds of residents gathered in Damascus' landmark Omayyad square, celebrating what they said was the army's success in shooting down or derailing some of the missiles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted by Sputnik news agency as stressing Wednesday on a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respect Syria's sovereignty and called for "refraining from any actions that might further destabilize the situation in this country and pose a threat to its security".

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said an attack on Syria by the United States, France and Britain on Saturday was a crime and would not achieve any gains.

It also repeats the claims made by Russian officials that a majority of the missiles launched by the USA had been intercepted. But Iran is different because its presence depends so much on Russian Federation; without an air force or land borders it has to tolerate everything that hits it, even if Israel strikes its bases time and time again.

Iran has been regarded by Israel as its arch enemy in the region.

Israeli officials did not touch upon the airstrike.

By launching strikes without prior approval from parliament, May dispensed with a non-binding constitutional convention dating back to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

US President Donald Trump, along with British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron authorised precision air-launched cruise missile strikes against Syria on Saturday to degrade its chemical weapons capability, saying there was no alternative to military action.

Johnson tweeted Saturday that he welcomed the news of the military strike against major chemical weapons facilities in Syria in concert with "our USA and French allies".

Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted the heart of Assad's programs to develop and produce chemical weapons.

"I firmly declare that the Presidents of USA and France and British PM committed a major crime", he said. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of USA losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz mentioned there clearly was "a high probability the attack in Syria this week attributed to Israel was against an undercover target that reflected that a similar hazard" since the drone incursion in February.

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