MOSCOW (Dispatches) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a group of Russian lawmakers on Sunday that Western missile strikes on his country were an act of aggression.
The meeting followed missile strikes by the United States, France and Britain against Syrian government targets over a suspected poison gas attack a week ago.
Russia, which is helping Assad fight terrorists, immediately condemned the strikes and called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
"From the point of view of the president, this was aggression and we share this position,” Russia’s TASS news agency quoted lawmaker Sergei Zheleznyak as saying after the meeting with Assad in the Syrian capital Damascus.
The president was in a "good mood” and continuing his work in Damascus, agencies cited the lawmakers as saying, and praised the Soviet-era air defense systems Syria used to help to repel the Western attacks.
"The tripartite aggression against Syria accompanied a campaign of disinformation,” Assad’s office quoted him as saying on Sunday. Moscow and Damascus are "waging one battle, not only against terrorism” but also to protect the sovereignty of states, he told the Russian officials.
Meanwhile, the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces announced that Eastern Ghouta in the Damascus Countryside is now completely terrorism-free following two months of operations in the region.
"Following a number of concentrated and powerful military operations in the past week, units from our brave armed forces and its allies managed to cleanse Eastern Ghouta in all its neighborhoods and (surrounding) villages, from the armed terrorist organizations after driving out all terrorists from the city of Douma, the final base for terrorists in Eastern Ghouta," said a statement released by the military late on Saturday.
Recently, Moscow brokered an agreement between the terrorists based in Eastern Ghouta and the Syrian government, enabling the former’s safe exit to Jarabulus, a terrorist-held town in northern Syria.
Russia said hundreds of Jaish al-Islam terrorists and their families had left Douma, according to the deal.
"At the same time we are resisting with our air defense capabilities to the tripartite aggression which was staged by the United States of America, France and Britain against numerous targets in Syria, "added that statement.
Early on Saturday, the American military, in collaboration with Britain and France, carried out what it routinely describes as "precision strikes" on three targets in Syria that it falsely claimed to be associated with the country's alleged chemical weapons arsenal, without producing any evidence.