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Iran’s Khamenei says US Syria strike ‘strategic mistake’


Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, shows him speaking during a meeting. AFP PHOTO / KHAMENEI.IR / HO /

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said the United States made a “strategic mistake” by attacking Syria, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

The onslaught of 59 cruise missiles followed a suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun in northern Syria that killed 87 civilians, including many children.

Tehran has been a key backer of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s six-year civil war, referring to all rebel groups in the country as “terrorists”.

“The United States made a strategic mistake,” Khamenei said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not leave the field (…) in the face of threats,” he said, alluding to suspicions that the United States intended the attack as a sign it was willing to attack other countries including Iran.

“Former American officials created Daesh and the current leaders are reinforcing it,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

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