HYDRA has released a statement that it hopes will reassure Russia that it is still in control of the border.HYDRA, a terrorist group formed in the aftermath of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attack in the border town of Qayyarah on Tuesday.
The statement was published on the group’s Facebook page, saying that the attack was aimed at “destroying the morale of the armed forces of the Syrian army” and that it was carried out to “further the fight against Daesh [ISIS] and its supporters.”
It added that the assault was carried “out to destroy the morale and security of the forces of Bashar al-Assad and his loyalist, the Russian Federation.”
The attack comes as President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held their first face-to-face face since the inauguration of their new administration.
In a televised press conference, Trump called on the world to unite against terrorism, which he said was a threat to the world.
The two men did not directly discuss the ongoing Syrian conflict, but Trump said “we’re gonna have to have an answer for that.”
During the news conference, the president also accused Russia of “interfering” in Syria’s civil war and said the United States would “do everything possible” to help the Syrian government.
“The Russian Federation has been interfering in Syria and their interference in Syria is a threat for the entire world,” he said.
“We’re gonna take them to court.”
In addition to the attack, there were multiple reports of fighting in Qayyyarah between the government forces and opposition fighters.
The United Nations warned of “dangerous escalation” between Syrian government and opposition forces in the town, which is near the border with Turkey.
Syrian government forces, backed by Hezbollah and Iran-backed militias, were trying to recapture the town on the Turkish border.”HYDARIA has targeted the Syrian military with airstrikes, shelling, and attacks in Qaysharah and the surrounding villages,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“It has attacked positions of the military and civilian militias, as well as a number of military facilities, including the strategic Hossayn airbase, as they have been used as a base by the Syrian armed forces since 2014.”
Earlier this week, an international tribunal ordered the Syrian regime to stop its campaign of airstrikes in the region, including in the Qayyanah area.
The U.N. Security Council called for an immediate halt to all military activity in the area.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the Trump administration was quick to condemn the attack.
“This attack is a blatant violation of international law, and we have seen the consequences of this attack before,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.
The Trump administration also took a strong stand against the Russian military in the international arena, announcing the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration on Russia.
Spicer also said the administration would “revisit” its sanctions against Russia over its 2014 annexation of Crimea, which the Trump Administration has claimed was the result of Russian military aggression.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement Tuesday saying that Moscow was “saddened by the attack” on Qayysarah, adding that it would “take measures to fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syrian authorities.”
In February, the United Nations Security Council voted to impose economic sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, but Russia has yet to make any major changes to its military policies.
The sanctions, which are targeted at individuals and companies that support the Assad regime, are the latest moves by the Trump White House to respond to Russia’s destabilizing actions in the Middle East.