Iran, a staunch ally of Bashar al-Assad, was quick to slam Friday’s US missile attack on a Syrian government air base.
In Tehran, worshippers chanted “death to America” and “death to Al Saud” – in reference to the ruling Saudi family, a key US ally in the Middle East.
The senior Iranian cleric who led the Friday prayers, called the United States “crazy” and blasted its “crimes”.
“You (Americans) gave chemical weapons and substances to the terrorists. You created terrorists all over the world,” said Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani.
On the streets of Tehran, many called the US strikes reckless.
“This shows that because America is not capable of attacking countries like Iran and North Korea, it attacks a government like Syria which has been in a war for five years. America wants to crush Syria while it’s weak and oppressed. I was really sad to hear such an attack had happened,” said resident Mojtaba Saghi.
‘Divide and conquer’
In Iraq, the chairman of the parliamentary security and defense committee said the US strike violated Syria’s sovereignty. By weakening the Syrian government, it will benefit the Islamic State militant group and “strengthen terrorism,” Hakim al-Zamili said.
Fears that the US move would sow more chaos in the Middle East resonated all the way to Egypt, Euronews correspondent Mohammed Shaikibrahim reports.
In the capital Cairo, Muslims said they felt US President Donald Trump’s new policy aimed to fragment Syria into areas of influence that superpowers can share.
“What do we expect from the Americans? They only want to occupy and control the country and its wealth, and exploit the Syrian people to serve their own interests,” said one man.
Another said:“America wants to strengthen its interests in the region, it doesn’t want to help the Syrian people. The Western criticism of Assad is just a pretext for all of this.”
In a statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry called on both the US and Russia to “act effectively” and with “international legitimacy” to contain and solve the now six-year-old Syrian civil war.