“Saudi Arabia has played an important role in the western coalitions’ attack against Syria. Since bin Salman started ruling Saudi Arabia, the country has tried to persuade certain powers and states to move on its desired path through its crude sales,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.
“I think that Saudi Arabia should account for its behavior and measures in the Arab and Islamic world. It should explain why it is leading the world towards chaos and anarchy,” he added.
Qassemi described the US-led missile strikes on Syria as cowardly, illegitimate and illegal, stressing that it violated all international rules and conventions.
The US, British and French forces launched over 100 missiles on Syria early Saturday morning, and Russia said Damascus 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 the 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 two 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.
Also, Iranian President Hassan 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”.
Meantime, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a phone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem deplored strikes against Syria, describing the move as “criminal and illegal”.
Also, Deputy Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Yadollah Javani also 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 in the day, 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 sit
Footage coming from Syria showed that people were 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 have 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 Humeimim [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, vowing to stay beside Syria.