Assad speaks with Iran’s president, who affirms support

AP — Syrian state media says President Bashar Assad has spoken with his Iranian counterpart following last week’s U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the strike on Friday a “blatant violation” of Syrian sovereignty and affirmed his country’s support for Assad’s government.

Assad accused the U.S. of trying to boost the morale of “terror groups” in Syria. The government refers to all those fighting against it as terrorists.

The U.S. says the strike was in response to a nerve gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun last week, which has been widely blamed on government forces. The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons.

Iran has provided crucial military and economic assistance to Assad throughout the six-year civil war.