Syrian envoy says further aggression by U.S. will invite retaliation

By Shivangi Mishra

New Delhi [India], Apr. 10 (ANI): Syrian Ambassador to India Riad Abbas on Monday said that any further aggression from the United States will invite will invite retaliation and added that the country will no longer opt for the middle path. He said there will either be 'war or peace' while condemning Washington's 'blatant aggression'.

Ambassador Abbas told media here that the missile strike on a Syrian army base by Washington was a show of force by President Donald Trump to prove that he is a stronger leader than his predecessor Barack Obama.

He alleged that another motive behind the airstrike was to satisfy Israeli lobbyists and to exert pressure on Damascus to accept Washington's terms and conditions.

"The American President wanted to prove that he is a strong President unlike Barack Obama and to satisfy the Israeli lobbies in America. And, by hitting Syrian airbase, the President of the United States is sending message to Russia and other Syrian allies that we are strong enough to face all of you together and to show Gulf states that I'm strong enough, but you will always need to support me financially for whatever services we give to you and to exercise much pressure on Syria so that the Syrian government will agree to your terms and condition," said Abbas.

He said that the United States carried out the strike without investigation, which proved that the action was pre-meditated. He said Washington has committed so many massacres in Iraq and other countries around the world that it has no right to speak or lecture about democracy or peace.

Ambassador Abbas further stated that since 2011, the start of the Syrian crisis, there has been indirect negotiations between the Syria and the American government but the latter wanted to retain its presence in Syria through the Syria, which was denied.

"They wanted that America should be invited and treated like the Russians, the true allies of Syria. In exchange of that they will give us financial support and economical support in cooperation with the Russian Federation ," he said.

He said Washington wanted Damascus to work in direct cooperation with Turkey while neglecting Iran. It also demanded that some terrorist personnel be given high post in the Syrian army and that the president should step down while also asking to draft a new constitution for the country.

"In Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen they toppled the regime and brought their friends to power in the name of democracy and security," he said.

"We highly appreciate the stand of our allies, the Russian federation and all BRICS countries as well as India," the envoy added.

He said the political reason for the American strike was that it wanted Damascus to follow the U.S. while the economic reason was that it wanted Syria to be transitive to the pipeline from Qatar to Europe, which Damascus never agreed to.

He alleged that America supports and aids ISIS, as it is harming the Syrian army fighting the terrorist organisation.

When asked if the country will halt Astana peace talks following the development, the envoy said that Syria will continue with these talks to bring peace.

A statement from the embassy also called upon the Security Council to assume its responsibilities under the UN Charter and to hold an emergency session to consider the serious consequences of the US aggression on Syria, condemn it and discuss ways to ensure that it is not repeated as an act that threats security and peace, in the region and the world.

Last Friday, the United States launched over 50 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat airfield in Syria, believed by Washington be the base for warplanes that carried out the chemical attack on a rebel-held town last Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the strike as "act of aggression" and said it violated international law.

Russia also denied that a chemical weapons attack took place in Syria saying the deaths in Khan Sheikhoun were caused by a Syrian regime airstrike on a rebel-controlled chemical weapons factory on the ground.

Approximately 20 Syrian regime planes were destroyed in the US strike, according to two US senior military officials.

Reacting to the US strike Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Washington had carried out an "unjust and unabashed assault" against Syria which "shows nothing but short-sightedness, a narrowness of vision and blindness to political and military realities."

Following the strike, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also accused the US of not acting 'within international frameworks' while adding ''the Syrian people and army must give a response (to the US) that makes Americans regret their attack.' (ANI)