U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria spark mixed voices in Mideast

2018-04-15 08:59:23 GMT2018-04-15 16:59:23(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CAIRO, April 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States, along with its allies Britain and France, launched a surprise missile attack against Syrian military positions early Saturday morning, causing a flurry of mixed reactions across the Middle East.

STRONG CONDEMNATION

During a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after the attack, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the U.S.-led attack on Syria reflects the failure of Western powers to achieve their goals in Syria after the defeat of the foreign-backed militants.

"The attack took place after the colonial forces supporting terrorists realized they have lost control and got the feeling that they have lost credibility in front of their people and the world," Assad said.

In an apparent attempt to demonstrate the strength and defiance of Assad in the face of the U.S.-led airstrikes, the Syrian Presidency media office released a video clip showing al-Assad entering his office as usual, brushing aside recent rumors about the whereabouts of the Syrian president.

Iran, one of Assad's staunchest ally, uttered its strongest condemnation against the joint missile attack by the U.S., Britain and France, while reaffirming its support for the Syrian government.

"This invasion is a clear violation of international regulations and undermines Syria's national sovereignty and integrity," Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei even blasted the airstrikes on Syria as a "crime."

"I overtly declare that the presidents of the United States and France and the prime minister of Britain have committed crimes (in Syria) and are criminals," Khamenei said in his meeting with Iranian officials and the ambassadors of Islamic states.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the U.S.-led coalition of seeking to "justify their presence in the region by such invasion," warning that the U.S.-led attack on Syria will result in "further destruction" of the region.

Iran is currently locked in a wrangle with the U.S. over the 2015 nuclear deal, as U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to scrap the accord if it is not renegotiated in the interests of his country.

Lebanon, the largest host of Syrian refugees, also expressed its strong opposition to the U.S.-led airstrikes.

Lebanon "rejects hostilities against Arab states for whatever reasons," President Michel Aoun said, urging a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

The Shiite party Hezbollah in the country went further, slamming the joint airstrikes as "a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty."

"The war that America is waging against Syria, against the people of the region and resistance and liberation movements, will not realize its goals," Hezbollah said in a statement.

POSITIVE RESPONSE

Israel lauded the joint airstrikes on Syria by the U.S., Britain and France as an "appropriate" response to the alleged gas attack in Syria.

"Last year, (U.S.) President (Donald) Trump made it clear that using chemical weapons crossed a red line. Tonight, led by the Americans, the U.S., France and Britain acted appropriately," an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity in a statement issued in Jerusalem.

Saturday is Israel's Sabbath, or the Jewish day of rest, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu generally refrains from making official statements in his name.

Donald Trump has announced the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in mid-May, after his controversial recognition of the disputed holy city as the capital of the Jewish state last December.

The U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria were also viewed positively and significantly in Turkey.

Despite being at loggerheads with the U.S. over the 2016 failed coup and its military campaigns inside Syria, Turkey welcomed the airstrikes as an "appropriate reaction" to an alleged chemical attack.

"We welcome this operation that articulates the conscience of humanity to a chemical attack in Douma, which has a strong suspicion of being carried out by the Assad regime," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia, the host of the 29th Arab summit scheduled on April 15, also voiced its support for the Western joint airstrikes on Syria, citing the alleged use of banned chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against innocent civilians, despite Iraq's call for the Arab summit to adopt a "clear stance" against the airstrikes.

DEEP CONCERN

Egypt, Algeria and Jordan expressed concern and regrets over the ongoing escalation in Syria, calling for a political consensus among all factions in the war-torn Arab country.

In an official statement, Egyptian Foreign Ministry described the airstrikes as a threat to "the understanding reached on determining the areas of reducing tensions."

Meanwhile, Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said at a press conference in Algiers that his country has been "expecting to send an international fact-finding panel to Syria to probe the the reality of the use of chemical weapons there."

Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani pointed to the political solution as "the sole way to solve the crisis in Syria and to preserve its stability and unity."

Earlier in the day, the U.S., Britain and France launched airstrikes on Syria over allegations that the Syrian government used poison gas in an attack on the rebel-held town of Douma near the capital Damascus on April 7.

The Syrian government, however, has repeatedly rejected the alleged chemical attack in Douma as a fabrication by the rebels and their foreign supporters to justify military strikes on Syria.

Last April, the U.S. launched a similar airstrike against Syria under the pretext of punishing the Syrian government for another alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.

| PRINT | RSS
Add Comment