Syrian rebels welcome USA missile attack on Assad's air base

Posted April 12, 2017

The attack marked the US response to the alleged chemical attack on rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in the countryside of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, reports said.

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi told the Fars news agency that the country "condemns all unilateral military action and the missile strike by United States warships against Shayrat airbase under the pretext of Tuesday's suspected attack on Khan Sheikhun".

"The airbase targeted by the USA strike was used to kill Syrians", Ramadan said.

Russian Federation was given prior warning by the U.S., which likely prevented the killing of large numbers of air and ground crew but it appears some were caught by the missiles. A video aired on Syrian state TV also claimed to show the moment the strikes hit, with large flashes and bangs seen in the night sky.

The brief lull in regime bombing should still provide some relief for the civilians of Idlib.

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Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference on Friday, April 7, 2017, outside the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala. But Montgomery County Circuit Judge Roman Shaul said his inclination "at this point would not be to restrain this report".

"I stress, once again, that 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.

The U.S. said it launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria overnight from two U.S. Navy warships in the eastern Mediterranean in response to what it claims was a chemical weapon attack that killed more than 100 people earlier this week.

The statement said the dawn attack on the Shayrat air base near Homs was not based on true facts. The Homs governor said on Friday the base was being used to provide air support for operations against Islamic State east of Palmyra. Francois Hollande, the French president, had already spoken to his German counterpart, chancellor Angela Merkel, about the attack, a statement said.

While Friday's strike was the first direct US military action against Syrian forces, fighter jets by a US-led coalition previous year killed dozens of Syrian troops after being "misidentified" as fighters of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, according to the US Army. The U.S. attack "sends a clear message to the regime and its backers" that they can no longer avoid repercussions, Ramadan said.