Attacks on Syria aim to justify US presence in region: Iranian president

Tasnim – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani decried overnight missile attacks on Syria by the US and its allies and said they are trying to justify their military presence in the Middle East region by such acts of aggression.

At a time when a United Nations mission is tasked with examining the issue of chemical weapons use in Syria, some (countries) attack the independent country under false pretexts and without a UN resolution, Rouhani said in a speech, addressing a group of high-ranking Iranian officials and diplomats from Islamic countries in Tehran on Saturday.

“Have not the US, the Zionist regime (of Israel) and their supporters, especially Britain and France, learnt a lesson from the events of the past 17 years in the region?” he said.

“US aggressions in the region will yield no result but destruction and demolition,” the president said, adding, “They want to justify their presence in the region with these aggressions.”

“Today, they (US and its allies) are angry that their terrorist stooges have been defeated in the Eastern Ghouta,” Rouhani noted.

He further pledged Tehran’s continued support for Damascus and said Iran has always supported oppressed nations in the region and the world.

The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Saturday against Syrian research, storage and military targets under the pretext of a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

Britain and France joined the United States in the strikes in a coordinated operation that was intended to show Western resolve in the face of what the leaders of the three nations called persistent violations of international law.

Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort to force Assad to “stop using banned weapons”, but only ordered a limited, one-night operation that hit three targets, New York Times reported.

“These are not the actions of a man,” Trump said of last weekend’s attack in a televised address from the White House Diplomatic Room. “They are crimes of a monster instead.”

Shortly after the attack, the Syrian presidency posted on Twitter, “Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.”

Within 90 minutes, the Russian ambassador to the US warned of “consequences” for the allied attacks.