President Bashar al-Assad says the missile strikes by the US, the UK, and France will only strengthen Syria’s resolve to keep its fight against terror groups and “crush terrorism in every inch of the nation.”
The Syrian leader made the comments in a phone conversation on Saturday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, his office said.
Rouhani, in turn, told Assad that Iran would continue to stand by Syria, expressing his confidence that this aggression would not weaken the determination of the Syrian people in its war against terrorism.”
In the early hours of Saturday, the three Western states launched a barrage of missile attacks against Syria in response to what they claim to be a chemical attack in the town by Damascus on April 7. Syria has no chemical arsenal and has rejected any role in the suspected gas attack.
Syrian air defenses, however, responded firmly, shooting down most of the missiles fired at the country.
Army goes ahead with operations
As the situation in Damascus and other towns and cities returned to normal, Syrian forces went ahead with their anti-terrorism campaign.
Syrian soldiers entered the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma for clean-up operations days after they fully retook the entire suburban area near Damascus from foreign-backed militants.
The mop-up operation by the Syrian internal security began on Saturday and will be completed in hours, according to the state media.
The town was the last stronghold held by foreign-backed militants in Eastern Ghouta, which for years served as a launch pad for deadly terror attacks against civilians in Damascus.
President Assad warns the Western states against the repercussions of a military action against his country shortly after the Syrian army liberated entire Eastern Ghouta.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitor, said the forces entered Douma after the final convoy of Jaish al-Islam militants left under an evacuation deal they had earlier reached with the government.
Eastern Ghouta had been the focus of a Syrian army push, backed by the Russian air force, since February 19. Douma and the entire Eastern Douma were declared free on Thursday.