MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Iran’s airstrike on the Ain Al-Asad US air base in Iraq was a ‘necessary action,’ Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami was quoted as saying by the country’s IRNA news agency on Monday.
"[US President Donald] Trump was mistaken, arrogantly believing that killing one person would stop resistance. As a result, the United States increased the cost of their presence in the region," Amir Hatami said during a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Ali Abdullah Ayyoub.
Hatami was speaking about the consequences of the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force.
"The resistance will continue even after Soleimani," the Iranian minister said, adding that "without Soleimani’s efforts, the hegemony of the Islamic State terrorist organization [outlawed in Russia] in the region would have been imminent."
"The strike at the US Ain Al-Asad air base in Iraq, carried out by Iran, was a necessary action. Resistance to US forces in the region should become a continuous process," Hatami said.
He vowed that "Iran would stand by Syria during the period when the country is being rebuilt."
Tensions in the Middle East escalated following a US drone strike near Baghdad's airport on January 3, which killed Soleimani. Iran targeted Iraq’s Ain Al-Asad air base and a facility in Erbil, which house US troops, in retaliation for the drone attack.