Assad says strikes make Syria more determined to ‘fight terrorism’

World Today

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Western strikes on government military installations Saturday only made him keener to fight back against his opponents, in comments published by his office.

“This aggression will only make Syria and its people more determined to keep fighting and crushing terrorism in every inch of the country,” said Assad, in his first reaction to the strikes, to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

Bashar al-Assad said that 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.

He highlighted his country’s continued determination to fight terrorists across Syria.

For his part, Rouhani expressed his strongest condemnation of the joint missile attack by the US, Britain and France, while reaffirming Iran’s support for the Syrian government.

Before daybreak on Saturday, the US, along with its allies Britain and France, launched airstrikes against Syrian military positions in the capital Damascus and central province of Homs.

People in Damascus were awakened by the sounds of loud explosions and saw red dots flying into the sky, in what later turned out to be the air defenses responding to the missile attack.

The Syrian Army said in a statement that about 110 missiles were fired by the US and its allies on Syrian military sites, damaging the Research Scientific Center in the northeast of Damascus and the military bases in Homs.

Most of the missiles were intercepted before reaching targets, it noted.

The joint airstrikes came under the pretext of punishing the Syrian government for the alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack on the rebel-held town of Douma, east of Damascus on April 7.

US President Donald Trump said he ordered the US military to launch precision strikes on the targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of the Syrian army.

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