US Vice President Mike Pence has threatened that Washington is set to respond to possible retaliatory moves against its missile attacks on Syria, by Damascus or its allies, specifically Russia and Iran.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - US Vice President Mike Pence has threatened that Washington is set to respond to possible retaliatory moves against its missile attacks on Syria, by Damascus or its allies, specifically Russia and Iran.
"The United States is ready to respond, to defend our forces; and to be clear, the US is also ready to take additional action in a sustained way to ensure that Syria understands that there will be a price to pay if they ever use chemical weapons again," Pence proclaimed on Saturday in a press briefing in the Peruvian capital Lima, where he is attending a Latin American summit, filling in for US President Donald Trump, who did not attend to oversee the Syria bombardment.
He further underlined that Trump and his advisers did consider the possibility of a military response from Syria, Russia or Iran in the days leading up to the US-led attack on Friday night.
The remarks came a day after the American military, in collaboration with Britain and France, carried out what it routinely describes as "precision strikes" on three targets in Syria that it falsely claimed to be associated with the country's alleged chemical weapons arsenal, without producing any evidence.
"We believe that it has significantly eroded and crippled the ability of the regime to produce chemicals," Pence further claimed despite the fact that the previous US administration was heavily involved in the process of Syria's dismantling of its entire chemical weapons arsenal back in 2014 in the presence of international inspectors.
Meanwhile, the US-led attack drew immediate and fierce condemnation from Syria as well as China, Russia Iran and Iraq, accusing Washington, London and Paris of deliberately violating international law and blatantly breaching Syria's sovereignty.
Pence, however, justified the attack by merely stating that the US did not act alone, claiming that other leaders at the Latin American summit had both publicly and privately expressed support for the Syria bombardment.
In condemning the US-led attack, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad insisted on Saturday that the missile strikes would only strengthen his nation’s resolve to keep its fight against Western-backed terror groups and “crush terrorism in every inch of the nation.”
Syria came under attack one week after a suspected chemical weapons attack hit the Syrian town of Douma near Damascus.
Western countries blamed the incident on the Syrian government, but Damascus rejected the accusations as “chemical fabrications” made by the foreign-sponsored terrorists themselves in a bid to halt advances by government forces.
Syria's Foreign Ministry strongly slammed Saturday's strikes as a "brutal, barbaric aggression," saying they would only ignite "tensions in the world and pose threat to the international peace and security as a whole."