Russia and Iran have issued a direct warning to US President Donald Trump, saying his missile strike on a Syrian airbase crossed “red lines” and they would respond to any new aggression and increase support for their ally. A joint command centre consisting of the forces of Russia, Iran and other allies supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a statement on Sunday, described the April 7 attack on Shayrat airfield in Syria’s Homs province as “a dangerous act of aggression”.
The US targeted the airbase last week with nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles, killing six Syrian soldiers and nine civilians, including four children, and destroying nine warplanes, according to Syria’s official news agency SANA.
However, the US government said the attack on the airbase was in retaliation for the April 4 strikes by the Syrian air force on the town of Khan Sheikhoun. At least 80 people were killed in the attack, according to reports.
The statement by the group, published on media outlet Ilam al Harbi (War Media) said: “What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.”
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It added that the allies of the Syrian government will increase their support to the Syrian army following the US missile strike and called the US military presence in northern Syria as “illegal” and referred to the forces as an “occupation”.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, meanwhile, said the Russians “have played now for some time the role of providing cover for Bashar Assad’s behaviour”.
“Russia’s failures to rid Syria of weapons stockpiles has led to the killing of more children and innocents,” he told CBS News.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani said American military intervention in Syria was a “violation of international law” in telephone talks, said the Kremlin on Sunday.
Rouhani also called for an investigation of the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria last week, and he warned that the US strikes in response risked escalating extremism in the region.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry condemned the US strike as “a flagrant aggression” against the country and said Washington’s real objective was to “weaken the strength of the Syrian army in confronting terrorist groups.”