Syrian rebels welcome US missile attack on Assad’s air base

By on April 8, 2017


Rebel factions in Syria said Friday they welcome the US missile strike on an air base in Syria's central province of Homs. (Photo: Times Asi/Flickr).
Rebel factions in Syria said Friday they welcome the US missile strike on an air base in Syria’s central province of Homs. (Photo: Times Asi/Flickr).

DAMASCUS—Rebel factions in Syria said Friday they welcome the US missile strike on an air base in Syria’s central province of Homs.

A rebel commander in Homs, known as Taha Atiyeh, was cited by activists as saying that the missile strike was positively received among rebel factions in the province.

Rebels support such strikes and everything that can reduce the power of the Syrian air force, he said.

The Jaish al-Tawhid rebel group, located in the northern countryside of Homs, also hailed the attack, saying it is the “first step for the international community to shoulder their responsibilities”.

Another rebel group, Failaq al-Sham, said the US missile attack “could be a turning point in the western stances and to move from words to deeds” against the Syrian government and its army.

Rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) described the US attack as a turning point in “eliminating the impunity” and a “military pressure against the Syrian army to put an end to its violations”.

Earlier on Friday, the United States targeted a Syrian air base in Homs with nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles, killing six Syrian soldiers and nine civilians, including four children, and destroying nine Syrian warplanes.

The US government said the attack on the air base came in retaliation for the strikes by the Syrian air force on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday.

Activists accused the Syrian army of firing toxic gas on the town, killing 70 people, while the Syrian army said the strike targeted an arm depot containing toxic gas, blaming the rebels for stockpiling such materials.