DAMACUS (Dispatches) -- Syrians gathered on Monday in a landmark square here, rallying in support of their armed forces, which succeeded in confronting the unprecedented joint airstrikes by the West over the weekend.
State TV broadcast the rally live from the central Omayyad Square. Protesters waved Syrian flags at the demonstration, dubbed a "salute to the achievements of the Arab Syrian Army," set off fireworks and unleashed celebratory gunfire.
Shouts of "Allah, Syria, and only Bashar," a reference to Syrian President Bashar Assad, rang out.
The joint airstrikes by the United States, Britain and France bombed sites that the three countries claimed were linked to Syria's chemical weapons program but the country has dismantled it several years ago.
A fact-finding mission from the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Syria to investigate.
Faisal Mekdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, said Monday that government officials have met with the delegation, which has been in Damascus for three days, a number of times to discuss cooperation.
"Syria stressed during those meetings that it is fully ready to cooperate and to provide necessary facilitations to the delegation to carry out its mission," Mekdad was quoted as saying by state media.
The strikes have ratcheted up international tension, as the U.S. and Russia exchanged threats of retaliation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the military strikes violated the UN Charter and that if they continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in international relations," according to a Kremlin statement on Sunday.
The Syrian government regained full control of Douma on Saturday, following a surrender deal with the terrorists who had controlled the town just east of Damascus.
Douma was the last terrorist holdout in the eastern Ghouta enclave.
Syrian media, Russian and Syrian officials have said the Syrian air defenses have intercepted most of the missiles.
The political adviser to Syrian President Assad praised Syria’s air defenses for intercepting most of the missiles fired by the U.S. and its allies at the Arab country.
Bouthaina Shaaban said in remarks published on the Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen website that the victory marks the beginning of the end of the American empire.
"The breaking of their evil aggression is the beginning of the vanishing of their empire, which will be replaced by new forces which respects the humanity, sovereignty and safety of peoples,” she said.
"The most important fact we should record here for Trump is that his missiles are not smart, not accurate – and that the Syrian air defenses have given the evidence that they are more smart and accurate than his missiles. He should be careful about his tweets,” Shaaban said.
She was referring to Trump’s tweet before the attack, warning Syria and allies to get ready for the missiles and suggesting that the rockets would evade air defenses because they were "nice and new and smart.”
Shaaban noted that the U.S.-led airstrikes had not intimidated the Syrians and instead sent cowering Zionists scrambling into air raid shelters.
"Instead of the Syrian people going to shelters, they went to the rooftops to watch Syrian forces shoot down scores of Trump’s missiles before they could reach their goals. This, while the settlers of the Zionist entity fled to their shelters.”
Shaaban also rejected Pentagon chief Jim Mattis’s allegations that installations linked to the production of chemical weapons had been bombed.
"The Center of Science and Research which provides knowledge to the best Syrian students every year was targeted,” she wrote.
"Trump is destroying this institution, which has no connection to producing any weapons. This is the lie of war about chemical weapons that Trump created.”
On Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May was to face angry lawmakers for authorizing the strikes without a vote in Parliament.