Syria Has Right to Respond to U.S. Threat, Minister Says

A Syrian cabinet minister called for a pre-emptive response against the U.S. and the premier said his country wouldn’t be cowed after President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve an attack on Syria.

The U.S. has declared war and Syrians have the right to respond preemptively against U.S. interests with all means available, Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar said in a phone interview today.

“I am among those who call for a preemptive” response by all Syrians, Haidar said, commenting on Obama’s statement yesterday that he was prepared to use military force against Syria.

“It’s unacceptable that a Syrian is afraid to leave his home for fear of the U.S. threat, while an American ambassador can wander about as he pleases,” Haidar said. “It’s unacceptable that our leaders have to go into hiding to protect themselves while U.S. interests are proceeding normally.”

Haidar said Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval before embarking on a military strike was not a “retreat.”

“He’s kept the sword in his hand, he just hasn’t chosen to limit himself to a date,” he said.

“When Syria is targeted, every Syrian has the right to respond with all possible means available and against any U.S. or Western interest or any country linked to the aggression,” he added.

Full article: Syria Has Right to Respond to U.S. Threat, Minister Says (Bloomberg)

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