Air strike in Syria a warning to Iran: Biden
WASHINGTON, Feb 27: President Joe Biden said Friday that a US air strike against an Iranian-backed militia in eastern Syria, the first since he took office, should be seen by Iran as a warning.
Asked what the message was from the air strike, Biden said: "You can't act with impunity." "Be careful," he added, speaking in Houston during a tour of relief efforts after a huge winter storm in Texas.
Syria and Iran on Friday condemned the attack with Damascus calling it a "bad sign" from the new Biden administration and Tehran saying it would further destabilize the region. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said two F-15E "Strike Eagles" dropped seven precision-guided munitions on Thursday on facilities in eastern Syria used by the militias believed to be behind a spate of rocket attacks on US troops in Iraq.
Syria condemned the strike as "cowardly American aggression." "It is a bad sign regarding the policies of the new US administration which should adhere to international (norms)," the foreign ministry said.
The Iranian foreign ministry strongly condemned what it called "illegal attacks" that are a "clear violation of human rights and international law." The air strikes would lead to "intensifying military conflicts and further destabilize the region," the foreign ministry spokesman said.
"America's recent action strengthens and expands the activities of the terrorist Daesh (Islamic State) in the region," Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security council, said in remarks to visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein. "The attack on anti-terrorist resistance forces is the beginning of a new round of organized terrorism," the semi-official Nour News quoted him as saying.
Hussein, on his second visit to Iran in a month, later met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Hussein is in Iran "to discuss regional developments, including ways to balance relations and avoid tension and escalation" with Iranian officials, according to an Iraqi foreign ministry statement. -AFP