Iran's Rouhani wants chemical attack in Syria investigated

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 8, 2017

He had warned of a red line against the use of chemical weapons, but backed away from military action after a chemical attack in August 2013 killed more than 1,000 Syrians.

Tehran is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main regional ally and has provided military and economic support for his fight against rebel groups and Islamic State militants.

"The U.S. staged an absolutely unmotivated show of force against a country which has been fighting global terrorism".

"In the meantime, if President Trump wishes to help the victims of Assad's atrocities, he could pledge to play a leading role in resettling the survivors", Wood added.

The strikes were in reaction to what Washington says was a poison gas attack by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory.

In Florida with the president, meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, "We will be announcing additional sanctions on Syria as part of our ongoing effort to stop this type of activity and emphasize how significant we view this".

Five hours after the initial attack, the UAV turned off its camera, and shortly afterwards, a Russian-made aircraft targeted the hospital.

Russian Federation described the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state. He didn't give precise numbers. The Islamic Republic, an Assad ally, warned that unilateral US action would strengthen terrorists and "further complicate the situation" in the Middle East.

The Syrian army says the USA attack on Shayrat airfield killed six people, and called it "blatant aggression" that made the United States a partner of "terrorist groups" including Islamic State. He described the Tuesday chemical attack as his motivation.

But for the most part, the Russia-backed Syria regime has left the U.S. coalition to conduct operations as the two sides focus on different foes in the tangled conflict.

Syrian government news reports said nine people were killed in the raid, which USA military officials said destroyed 20 Syrian jets as well as hangars and fuel storage.

Following U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian air base Thursday night, Syrians in B.C. expressed either dismay or hope at how the incident might impact the lives of civilians in their homeland.

"Trump is already not 'ours.' And from this the frustration of the Russian side is even stronger than it could have been under the potential president Hillary Clinton", he said. Last Thursday, the administration indicated it was ready to tolerate Assad staying in power, and that his departure was not a top priority. Assad himself appeared more irritated than cowed, calling the US strike "irresponsible" and claiming that USA intelligence suggesting he had launched the chemical attack was faulty.

"The intent was to deter the regime from doing this again", said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, the Pentagon spokesman.

The United States has since late 2014 led a coalition against IS in Iraq and Syria, and flies dozens of sorties daily to bomb jihadist targets.

"It is obvious that the cruise missile attack was prepared in advance".

I commend the president and his national security team for acting decisively and sending a clear message to Assad and our allies.

Iran says it has military advisers and volunteers in Syria but denies having a conventional force on the ground. The Russian prime minister said the relationship between the two countries had been ruined completely, placing them "on the verge of a military clash".

But U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the strike was a warning.

The U.S. also notified its partner countries in the region prior to launching the strikes. And Trump may have intended the missile strike to be a one-time act in response to a particularly gruesome war crime, but the United States could be drawn into more protracted combat against the Syrian regime - in which case the president will need to seek congressional approval. Instead, he agreed to a Russian-brokered deal that was supposed to have resulted in Syria giving up its chemical weapons stockpiles.

The world learned of the chemical attack earlier in the week in footage that showed people dying in the streets and bodies of children stacked in piles. Was this simply a humanitarian intervention, and if so, what are his new standards for such interventions?

Trump seemed to rapidly reconsider his feelings about Assad, saying: "He's there and I guess he's running things, so something should happen". It's unclear what authority Trump is relying on to attack another government. Trump can't rely on either justification here. Trump's response has been widely supported in the United States as being decisive, proportional and deserved. This makes it hard for the United Nations to monitor attacks such as the alleged chemical weapons attack which took place this week.

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