Iran wants chemical probe; Lebanon reaction to US Syria strike mixed

World Today

US SyriaThis satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows an image captured on April 7 of the northwest side of the Shayrat air base in Syria, following U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strikes on Friday, April 7, 2017 from the USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Porter (DDG 78). The United States blasted the air base with a barrage of cruise missiles on Friday, April 7, 2017 in fiery retaliation for this week’s gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (DigitalGlobe via AP)

Iran criticized the U.S. airstrike on Syria and called Saturday for an independent investigation of the alleged chemical weapons attack that prompted it. In Lebanon, the prime minister supported the U.S. strike while Hezbollah condemned it.

CGTN’s Wang Jinyan reports from Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned the U.S. airstrike on Syria Saturday, saying it would strengthen extremists and terrorists.

Rouhani also called for an investigation into the alleged chemical weapons attack that led to the U.S. action. More than 80 people were killed by toxic gas in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.
“What we seek is formation of an international fact-finding committee,” Rouhani said. “However, its members must not be partial people and must not be headed by the Americans. Neutral countries should come together and assess to make it clear where the chemical weapons came from.”

Syria denies it carried out the chemical attack. Iran is Syria’s biggest ally in the region and, along with Russia, is helping the Syrian government fight rebel groups and ISIL militants.

Rouhani said the U.S. missile attack on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase would only strengthen Iran’s support for Syria.

In Lebanon on Syria’s western border, reaction to the U.S. attack was mixed. Prime Minister Saad Hariri said it was a justified response to an attack on civilians.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun did not address the U.S. strike directly, but condemned the use of weapons of mass destruction by “any party.”

Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, which has sent fighters to Syria to support the government, condemned the U.S. strike. Hezbollah called it an act of blatant aggression that would complicate the situation in Syria.

Some of those injured in the suspected chemical attack are receiving medical treatment in Turkey. The town of Reyhanli is just across the border.
And it’s where dozens of the critically injured have been transferred.
CGTN’S Natalie Carney reports from the border.