Sat Apr 8, 2017 10:13AM
This combo image shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
This combo image shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has called US President Donald Trump to praise in person Washington’s recent missile strike against a Syrian army air base.

During the phone conversation on Friday, King Salman congratulated US President Donald for what was said to be his “courageous decision,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Meanwhile, a Saudi Foreign Ministry official told the SPA that the kingdom “fully supports the US military operations against military targets in Syria.”

Trump’s missile launch was the right response to the Syrian government as the international community has failed to put a halt to Damascus’ actions, the official further claimed.

Early on Friday, US warships in the Mediterranean launched a barrage of 59 Tomahawk missiles against Shayrat Airfield in Syria’s Homs Province. Damascus denounced the US assault as a “blatant aggression” that killed up to 15 people, including civilians, and caused “significant material damage.”

Saudi Arabia was among the first parties to speak out in praise of the Friday attack, expressing full support for the American military strike.

This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows an image captured on April 7 of the Shayrat Air Base in Syria, following a US missile attack on April 7, 2017. (Via AP)

Riyadh, which has long pushed for the ouster of the Syrian government, stands accused of supporting anti-Damascus Takfiri groups both ideologically and materially.

Takfirism, which is a characteristic of many terrorist groups operating in the region, is largely influenced by Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom is a member of the US-led coalition, which has been conducting air raids against what are said to be Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. 

Last February, Saudi Arabia offered for the first time to send ground troops to Syria to fight Daesh.

“The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Isis) may agree to carry out in Syria,” said military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri in an interview with al-Arabiya TV news.

The Saudi bid was a source of tensions with former US president Barack Obama.