Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Assad office says US strike ‘foolish, irresponsible’

A US missile strike on an airbase in central Syria early on Friday was "foolish and irresponsible," President Bashar al-Assad's office said.

“What America did is nothing but foolish and irresponsible behaviour, which only reveals its short-sightedness and political and military blindness to reality,” a statement said.

The US fired a barrage of 59 cruise missiles at the Shayrat base in response to a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town on Tuesday widely blamed on the Damascus regime.

The Syrian government has categorically denied the accusation, saying it had struck an arms depot belonging to a jihadist group. 

Assad’s office said the government would redouble its efforts against rebel groups after the US strike — the first direct military action by Washington against the Damascus regime. 

“This aggression has increased Syria’s determination to strike these terrorist agents, to continue crushing them and to speed up the pace of work on this, wherever they are on Syrian territory,” it said. 

“The disgraceful act of targeting a sovereign state’s airport demonstrates once again that different administrations do not change deeper policies.”

The massive strike — US President Donald Trump’s biggest military decision since taking office — marked a dramatic escalation in American involvement in Syria’s six-year civil war.

It followed days of outrage at images of dead children and victims suffering convulsions from the suspected sarin gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun. DM

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.