Syrian government negotiator calls U.S. airstrike 'terrorism'

Syrian government negotiator calls U.S. airstrike 'terrorism'
Syrian government negotiator Bashar Ja'afari makes a statement after a meeting during the Intra Syria talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
2 weeks ago

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GENEVA — A U.S. military strike in Syria on Thursday was "government terrorism" and caused a massacre, Syrian government negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari said on Friday (May 19).

"What is important is that our political ambition is the highest concern for all participating parties,” Jaafari said. “Our ambition is the highest (concern) because we want to focus on fighting terrorism, terrorism represented by armed groups and the state and government terrorism happening against our country. This includes the American, French sometimes and British aggression against our country whether on civilian or military targets."

He said he had raised the issue with United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura at their last meeting at peace talks in Geneva.

"It is not a coincidence at all that these kinds of claims surfaced on the first day of Geneva because its goal is, of course, to increase pressure on us as the government and to help other extremist parties that reject the political solution in order to escalate during the Geneva talks,” Jaafari stated.

The U.S. strike was the second deliberate military attack on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In April U.S. President Donald Trump ordered cruise missile strikes in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack that Washington blamed on Damascus.

Jaafari said such actions would help increasing the pressure on his government and help the "other parties" referring to the opposition.