IS, 'fed and armed' by the West, has been defeated in Syria: Iranian prez
Tehran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday accused western countries, including the United States, of having "fed and armed" the Islamic State, which he said had now been eradicated in West Asia. He congratulated Iraq, Syria and Lebanon for the "great achievement".
Rouhani's speech, broadcast live on state TV, came a day after Syrian forces reclaimed the town of Albu Kamal, the last urban stronghold of the Islamic State.
Terrorist groups such as the Islamic State had brought malevolence, misery, destruction, barbarism and massacre, Rouhani said, while accusing the United States of sponsoring terrorism. Terrorists had looted museums in Iraq and Syria, sold girls, burned people alive in cages, and cut the throats of youth, he said. "We never imagined that such savage and criminal acts could be committed by world powers, western countries, US as well as the Zionist regime in the 21st century," President Rouhani said. "ISIS is a terrorist group that was fed and armed by major world powers and some reactionary countries of the region, outperforming historic criminals by their crimes."
The capture of Albu Kamal comes weeks after the Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the United States-led coalition, got control of Raqqa city from the Islamic State after a four-month offensive. The terror outfit had declared Raqqa its headquarters after taking control of it early in 2014. The Islamic State group first lost its Iraqi stronghold in Mosul in July. In the nine months of fighting that preceded this victory in Iraq, more than a million people were killed, thousands of civilians were displaced and large parts of the city were destroyed.
President Rouhani will travel to the Russian city of Sochi on Wednesday to meet with with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for further talks on reducing violence in Syria through de-escalation zones, a strategy agreed earlier this year.