Tehran condemns US strikes in Syria

TEHRAN: Tehran has condemned US airstrikes on Iran-linked forces in Syria that reportedly killed 19 people, which Washington said it carried out following a drone attack on US forces.

The Iranian foreign ministry condemned “the belligerent and terrorist attack of the American army on civilian targets” in the eastern Syrian region of Deir Ezzor.

Washington said it launched the retaliatory raids after a US contractor was killed — and another contractor and five military personnel wounded — by a drone “of Iranian origin” that struck a US-led coalition base in Syria on Thursday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor has said at least 19 people, most of them Syrian, were killed in the following US strikes launched early Friday morning. The US strikes triggered further rocket attacks by Iran-backed militias, the Observatory said.

The Syrian government, which is closely allied with Iran, has accused the United States of lying about the targets of its air strikes to justify its “act of aggression.”

The United States has about 900 troops in posts across northeastern Syria to keep pressure on the remnants of the Islamic State group and support the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which control most of the northeast. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said the US troops’ presence was “illegal” and a “violation of international law and the national sovereignty” of Syria.


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