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Assad: US-Led Attack Comes as West Realizes It's Lost Control of Syrian Conflict

© AFP 2023 / LOUAI BESHARAPoster bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad
Poster bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad - Sputnik International
After the United States, France, and the United Kingdom launched a total of 103 missiles against Syrian targets overnight on Saturday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the attack unites Syrians and increases Damascus's resolve to continue "fighting and crushing terrorism in every inch of the nation."

Bashar Assad told his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, in a telephone conversation on Saturday that the joint attack against Syria came after the Western states realized they had lost control of the situation in the region and credibility in the conflict.

Rouhani, in turn, told Assad that Tehran will stand by Damascus, "expressing his confidence that this aggression would not weaken the determination of the Syrian people in its war against terrorism."

The statement comes hours after a video emerged on the web showing Assad coming to work in a suit and a tie and carrying a briefcase in the wake of the attack.

READ MORE: Moscow Slams French Report on "Syrian Chemical Weapons" Based on Social Media

On Friday, US President Donald Trump ordered the nation's military to "launch precision strikes on Syria" in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma despite having only social media content as evidence. France and the UK have joined the US attack, with the three countries launching over 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles at "civilian and military facilities" in Syria.

Syrian air defense units had intercepted 71 cruise missiles out of the 103 launched, including all of the ones that had been fired at Dumayr military airport, located in the northeast of Damascus, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Damascus has slammed the joint attack as a "brutal, barbaric aggression," explaining it "aims at hindering the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons]. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the attack an "act of aggression against a sovereign state that has been fighting against terrorism," according to the Kremlin.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has slammed the attack, warning the US, the UK, and France of "regional consequences," while Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the leaders of the states that conducted the attack "criminals."

READ MORE: What We Know So Far on Syria Missile Strike Before Probe Into "Chemical Attack"

The strikes were carried out hours before the OPCW team was due to arrive in Douma to determine whether a chemical attack had taken place there. Unverified reports of chemical weapons being used in the city, which allegedly killed dozens of civilians, emerged on April 7. The Western states have rapidly put the blame on Damascus, despite having no evidence to support their claims. Russia has called for the international community to launch a thorough investigation into the alleged attack before drawing any conclusions.

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