Call for Investigating Gas Attack in Syria

Despite his campaign promises on countering terrorism, Trump’s first major move in Syria has pleased terrorists
 President Hassan Rouhani addresses an economic conference in Tehran on April 8.
 President Hassan Rouhani addresses an economic conference in Tehran on April 8.

President Hassan Rouhani strongly criticized the unilateral missile attack by the US on a Syrian airbase on Friday in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons, calling for an international probe by impartial countries into the western allegations.

"Under what authority or law did you commit this?" Rouhani asked in an address to an economic conference in Tehran on Saturday.

He stressed that the US administration did not seek the approval of the United Nations, or even the US Congress, for its "aggressive, flagrant and brutal" attack on Syria violating all international principles, IRNA reported.

According to US officials, two US warships fired 59 cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean Sea at the Shuayart Airbase near Homs, causing significant damage to its airfields, fuel tankers and aircraft hangars.

The strike came in response to what Washington believes was the Syrian government's chemical airstrikes in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province last Tuesday, and US President Donald Trump said it was in America's "vital national security interest".

At least six people were killed, according to a Syrian Army statement, and a dozen military aircraft were destroyed by the salvo.  

Syria's Foreign Ministry said on Friday the Khan Sheikhoun chemical incident was a "premeditated action that aimed to justify the launching of a US attack on the Syrian Army".

The ministry described the missile attack "a flagrant aggression" and said the real objective of the US attack was to "weaken the strength of the Syrian Army in confronting terrorist groups".

***Trump Heartening Terrorists

Rouhani said Trump, despite his campaign promises on countering terrorism, in his first move has pleased terrorists in the Arab country and they are applauding him for the strike.

The chief executive also questioned the credibility of claims that blame the Syrian government for the Tuesday incident in Idlib, pointing to the fact that Syria had destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles under international monitoring under a 2013 agreement between the US and Russia.

He said an international fact-finding mission should be formed by "independent states", which does not include biased parties and is not headed by Americans, "to find out where chemical weapons had come from, who had brought them in or whether there were any chemical weapons involved".

The US attack came despite the Syrian government denied using chemical weapons to attack Idlib.

"The Syrian Arab Army did not and will not use such weapons even against the terrorists who are targeting our people," Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told reporters in Damascus on Thursday.

According to Russia, the Idlib incident, which left dozens of gas-poisoned people dead, happened after a government warplane hit an unknown cache of chemical agents held by foreign-backed militants.

A group of US allies, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, expressed their support for the US attacks on Friday.

The United Nations Security Council met for a briefing on the airstrike on Saturday.


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