UPDATE – Iran condemns US-led strikes in Syria

Iran says U.S. and allies will be responsible for consequences of the attacks

*UPDATES WITH SUPREME LEADER'S CONDEMNATION

By Hussein al-Qabani

ISTANBUL (AA) – Iran on Saturday strongly condemned a joint airstrike by the U.S., Britain and France against Syrian regime’s chemical sites in the wake of a suspected chemical attack that killed dozens outside the capital Damascus.

In a statement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said the U.S. and its allies “will assume the responsibility for the regional and trans-regional consequences of this adventurism".

"Iran is opposed to the use of chemical weapons on the basis of religious, legal and ethical standards, while at the same time it ... strongly condemns [using this] as an excuse to commit aggression against a sovereign state,” said the statement cited by local media.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for his part, denounced the airstrikes as a “murder”.

In a televised speech, Khamenei accused U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Teresa May of being "criminals".

"The attack this morning against Syria is a crime," he said. "The American president, the French president and the British prime minister are criminals."

On Friday night, the U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S., the U.K. and France jointly launched strikes targeting the Assad regime's chemical weapons capabilities after a suspected chemical attack killed dozens outside of Damascus.

The joint strike came after the White Helmets, a civil defense agency, blamed the Assad regime for the chemical attack, which it said killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others.

Iran is a major supporter of the Bashar al-Assad regime, whose forces violently cracked down on pro-democracy protests in 2011, triggering a deadly civil war that killed thousands.

Russia, another major supporter of the Assad regime, has also denounced the U.S.-led airstrikes.

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