NCRI-US Staff, 15 April 2018
At four in the morning on Saturday, April 14, 2018, the sounds of explosions were heard across the city. The United States, France and Great Britain launched airstrikes against Syrian military facilities in Damascus in response to a chemical attack by the Assad regime that killed over 40 people.
According to the Pentagon, the strikes targeted three facilities that functioned as Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, including a science research facility around Damascus, and a chemical weapons storage facility located in Homs.
Shortly after the strikes, U.S. President Donald Trump called on Russia and Iran to halt their support for the Assad dictatorship amid the grotesque chemical weapons attacks inflicted on the Syrian people. During a press conference, President Trump said, “To Iran and to Russia I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?” and, “The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by supporting rogue states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators.”
It is debatable whether Iran would ever withdraw its support for Syria willingly.
A day prior to the missile strikes on Damascus, Ali-Akbar Velayati, the top foreign affairs adviser to Khamenei, met with Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus. Iranian-backed Shia factions in Syria bolster the Assad regime. During battles against rebel forces, Tehran has sent members of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to decimate the last rebel strongholds. Since 2012, Tehran has provided weaponry such as the Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles to the Syrian regime. Clearly, the targeting of the production and maintenance centers and facilities of the deadly chemical weapons of the brutal dictator of Syria and the dismantling of the war machine of this regime is an indispensable step to end the historical catastrophe of Syria that for seven years has killed more than 500,000 innocent and defenseless children and women and men, has displaced half of the country’s population, and its scope has been stretched far beyond the borders of this country.
This action by the coalition, must be completed by expelling Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and its proxies from Syria, Yemen, Iraq and other countries of the region. Tehran is the main source of survival of Bashar al-Assad and the main source of terrorism and extremism and warfare in the Middle East and the vast sections of the world.
Without the large amount of funds, weaponry and manpower received from Tehran, Assad could not operate militarily. Iran spends between $6 billion and $35 billion per year, according to the U.N. special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura. Action against Iranian interests would limit Iran’s ability to bankroll the Assad dictatorship. It is crucial for the Trump administration to impose restrictions on the Iranian regime to end its support to the Assad regime, and contain the bloodshed in Syria.