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US strike on Syria strengthens regional terrorism: Iran's president

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has censured the US for a recent missile strike against an airbase in Syria, saying the aggression will boost terrorism in the region and strengthen lawlessness and instability in the world.

“I call on the world to reject such policies, which bring only destruction and danger to the region and the globe,” Rouhani said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday night.

The Iranian president’s comments came after the US military pounded the Shayrat airfield southeast of Homs with 59 Tomahawk missiles in the early hours of Friday, marking the Pentagon's first direct attack against the Arab country since the beginning of the foreign-backed conflict in 2011.

“US aggression against Shayrat strengthens regional extremism and terror, and global lawlessness and instability, and must be condemned,” Rouhani further said.

On US President Donald Trump’s order, US warships in the Mediterranean carried out the strike on the military facility in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in the town of Khan Shaykhoun in Idlib province earlier this week. Damascus has categorically denied carrying out a chemical attack. 

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Washington and its allies were quick to accuse Damascus of conducting the attack. The Syrian army said, however, that “it has never used them (chemical weapons), anytime, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.”

“The tragedy of Khan Shaykhoun is horrifying & must be condemned. It reminds Iranians, victim of chemical weapons for years, [of] the attacks in Sardasht,” Rouhani added, referring to a tragic chemical bombing of the northwestern Iranian city of Sardasht by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein back in 1987, during the Iraqi-imposed war on Iran. The chemical attack killed over 100 Iranian civilians and injured hundreds of others.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry said Washington had made the decision to strike Syria before the alleged chemical attack in Idlib.

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