Rouhani, Putin: US attack on Syria is act of invasion

The strikes were in reaction to what Washington says was a poison gas attack by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory.

Russian Federation had said on Friday that the USA attack could have “extremely serious” consequences, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the US strikes were one step away from a clash with Russia’s military.

Rouhani further said that Syria’s chemical weapons were destroyed two years ago according to the United Nations officials.

In a phone conversation, the two senior officials described the USA attacks as a “support” for terrorists. Damascus has categorically denied carrying out a chemical attack.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on the other hand, insisted that the U.S. priority was to eliminate ISIS first and foremost, and that the future government of Syria, as well as Assad’s fate, were up to the Syrian people. “It is essential to study and condemn this unilateral action in the UN Security Council”, Rouhani said in his conversation with Putin.

“We are asking for an impartial global fact-finding body to be set find out where these chemical weapons came from”, Iran’s Rouhani said in a speech on Saturday.

Neutral countries should investigate whether a chemical weapon was used, and if used, its source should be found, Rouhani said.

He underlined that, however, “unfair individuals” should not be member to the committee and the committee should not be headed by the US.

He also reiterated Tehran’s position that the crisis in Syria must be settled politically. “In such atmosphere, boosting cooperation among Iran, Russia and Syria in countering violence and terrorism is essential”, the president remarked.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to visit Moscow next week, and the Russian Foreign Ministry has said it expected him to explain Washington’s stance in light of the U.S. missile strikes on Syria. He said that the attack will not help settle the crisis in Syria.