A joint command center made up of the forces of Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Shiite group Hezbollah supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a statement Sunday slamming the U.S. strike on a Syrian air base Friday and saying that Washington had already crossed many “red lines” in Syria.
“America waging an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines,” read the statement issued in Arabic and published by the group on media outlet Ilam al-Harbi (War Media).
“From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.”
The United States fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base near the city of Homs Friday from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack had been launched earlier in the week by the Syrian government, which denies any responsibility for the attack.
The joint command center also said the presence of U.S. troops in northern Syria where Washington has hundreds of special forces helping the multi-ethnic and religious Syrian Democratic Force, SDF, to oust the Islamic State group was “illegal” and that Washington had a longterm plan to occupy and divide the area.
The Assad-allied forces went on to reiterate their full support of the Syrian Army to “fully liberate” every part of Syria occupied by “terrorist forces.”
“Russia and Iran will not allow America to dominate the world and impose a unipolar system through its direct assault on Syria by violating international laws and not working within the framework of the United Nations,” the statement warned, adding that the two allies would “stand up to America no matter what.”
The forces also pledged more support to the Syrian government and its army in the wake of the U.S. missiles attack.
Syrian army forces had been losing ground across the country until Russia intervened militarily in September 2015, while Assad has also drawn heavily on Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah for his most important gains since the Russian intervention. Iran also has troops in the country fighting alongside government forces.