April 14, 2018 / 5:12 AM / 6 days ago

U.S., allies responsible for regional fallout of Syria raids: Iran

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday condemned the U.S.-led attacks on Syria and said Washington and its allies would bear responsibility for the consequences in the region and beyond, state media said.

Syrians wave Iranian, Russian and Syrian flags during a protest against U.S.-led air strikes in Damascus,Syria April 14,2018. REUTERS/ Omar Sanadiki

“Undoubtedly, the United States and its allies, which took military action against Syria despite the absence of any proven evidence ... will assume the responsibility for the regional and trans-regional consequences of this adventurism,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state media.

“Iran is opposed to the use of chemical weapons on the basis of religious, legal and ethical standards, while at the same time it ... strongly condemns (using this) as an excuse to commit aggression against a sovereign state,” it added.

Iran has been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most supportive ally against insurgents throughout the conflict. Iran-backed militias first helped his army stem rebel advances and, following Russia’s entry into the war in 2015, turn the tide decisively in Assad’s favor.

Analyst Hossein Sheikholeslam, a former Iranian ambassador to Damascus, told state television the attacks would help unite Syrians behind the government.

“These attacks will stabilize the Syrian government... and unite the different tribes in Syria as Syrians become aware of their honor and come to the defense of the independence, territorial integrity and the government of their country,” Sheikholeslam said.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Richard Pullin and Clarence Fernandez

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