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US, allies wage campaign of lies against Syria, Russia, Assad says; Israel backs airstrikes

By: Amr Mostafa and Eliyahu Kamisher, Associated Press
April 15, 2018 Updated: April 15, 2018 at 12:35 pm
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CAIRO — Aggression by the United States, the United Kingdom and France against Syria has been coupled with a “campaign of misdirection and lies” at the United Nations Security Council against Syria and Russia, President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday in comments carried by the official SANA news agency.

“Syria and Russia are fighting a battle not only against terrorism, but also for protecting international law … based on respect for state sovereignty and the will of their people,” Assad said at a meeting with members of Russia’s ruling United Russia Party.

The Russian delegation condemned the strikes against Syria as a blatant violation of international conventions and emphasized Russia’s support for Syria in the ongoing war.

The U.S.-led coalition Saturday launched airstrikes against Syrian targets in response to a suspected chemical attack near the capital Damascus April 7.

The Syrian army said its air defenses shot down most of the 110 missiles fired in the attack.

Syria and Russia have repeatedly denied that a chemical attack on the former rebel town of Douma took place.

Meanwhile, Israel declared its support for the U.S.-led strikes against Syria.

Two Israeli ministers said Sunday that their country will continue to act against the Iranian military presence in Syria.

“We are determined and will continue to act against the Iranian establishment of bases (in Syria),” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, a member of the security cabinet, said on Israel’s Army Radio.

The statement comes as Russia said it is considering supplying Syria with an advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile system after the airstrikes. The missile system could constrain Israel’s ability to bomb targets in Syria.

Israel regularly targets military sites inside Syria, saying it will prevent Iran and the Iran-allied Hezbollah group from using Syria as a base to threaten the Jewish state.

“Israel maintains full freedom of action on its borders we will not comprise on less than this,” Education Minister and security cabinet member Naftali Bennett said Sunday on Israeli radio.

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©2018 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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PHOTO (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194):USSYRIA-ASSAD

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Topics: t000194352,t000189451,t000003763,t000015420,t000002953,t000015422,g000362697,g000362669,g000219715

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