Feb 26, 2021 18:05 UTC
  • ‘Bad sign from Biden admin.’: Syria slams fatal US raid on Iraq border

Damascus has censured the US air raid against positions of Iraqi counter-terrorism forces on the Iraqi-Syrian border, which killed one and wounded four others, describing it as a “bad sign” from the administration of new US President Joe Biden.

In a statement carried by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on Friday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the Arab country “strongly condemns the American act of aggression” in the early hours of the day on facilities used by forces of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) — better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi — at a border point in Syria’s eastern Day al-Zawr Province.

“In a flagrant violation of the rules of international law and Charter of the United Nations, the US warplanes on Thursday, February 25, 2021, launched a coward [act of] aggression by bombing some areas in Day al-Zawr Province near the Syrian-Iraqi borders,” it said.

“It is a bad sign regarding the policies of the new US administration which should adhere to international” norms, the statement added.

The military action, the first of its kind under US President Joe Biden, has been met with a negative reaction, with many observers likening Biden’s approach to that of his hawkish predecessor, Donald Trump.

Iraqi resistance forces have been fighting remnants of the Takfiri Daesh terror group across border regions of Iraq and Syria in coordination with the governments in both Arab countries.

In a statement issued after the assault, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the raid authorized by Biden had been “deliberate” and meant to “de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”

An informed source told Press TV that one person had lost his life and four others had been injured in the US military’s act of aggression.

On Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke to his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, on the phone.

The two sides emphasized the need for the Western countries to abide by UN Security Council resolutions regarding Syria.

Zarif reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Syrian nation in its efforts to rid the country of militant groups, many of which have the support of the US military in their campaign of destruction.

‘US raid won’t weaken Syria resolve to expel occupiers’

In turn, Faiz al-Ahmed, the head of the Syrian Parliament’s Committee on National Security, severely condemned the US airstrike, which targeted the positions of the Syrian army and its allied forces.

“What just happened is highly dangerous,” the senior lawmaker told Iran’s Tasnim news agency. “Washington is keeping up its act of aggression” to advance the interests of the regime in Israel.

The attack, he added, “will not undermine the iron resolve of Syria and its allies to drive American occupiers out of the Syrian soil,” but will rather “strengthen the Syrian nation’s determination to strengthen its role in the resistance axis to confront the West and global arrogance.”

‘This is nothing!’ Lavrov says US notified Russia few minutes in advance

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Segei Lavrov of Russia, an ally of Syria, said on Friday that the United States had notified Moscow of the impending attack on the PMU facility “four or five minutes ahead of time.”

“Our military was warned four or five minutes ahead of time. Of course, even if we are talking about deconfliction, as is customary in ties between Russian and US military personnel, this is nothing! This was a kind of notification when the strike was already being carried out,” Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister said the US military is present on Syrian soil “illegally, in violation of all norms of international law, including Security Council Resolutions on reconciliation in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

He said Russia had received unconfirmed information that the US is planning to stay in Syria indefinitely.

“We have recently received different information from various sources. We cannot confirm it for now, and want to ask the Americans about this directly. Supposedly, they are making the decision to never leave Syria, even to the point of destroying this country,” Lavrov said.

The ministry under Lavrov also condemned the US strike, urging the Americans to respect Syria’s territorial integrity.

“We strongly condemn such actions and call for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to be unconditionally respected,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.

China: Syria’s sovereignty must be respected

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry also reacted the US air raid, warning against any action that further complicates the situation in crisis-hit Syria.

“China calls on all relevant parties to respect Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a press briefing on Friday.

Tanf base, a safe haven for Daesh

The US began its military intervention in Syria with the emergence of Daesh in 2014, when Washington and its allies formed a military coalition under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terror group.

In parallel, Washington also deployed its own forces and equipment in Syria as part of unilateral “anti-terror campaign.”

The US and its allies did nothing to uproot Daesh and even worked on many occasions to hinder Syrian army operations — which were backed by Iran and Russia — against the terror group.