Iran leader: Strikes in Syria illegal

In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, President Hassan Rouhani visits Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after his surgery in a hospital in Tehran, Iran (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)

NEW YORK (AP) — Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrikes in Syria are illegal because they were not approved or coordinated with Syria’s government.

Meeting Tuesday with several news editors on the first day of the United Nations General Assembly gathering of world leaders, Rouhani stressed that Iran condemns the Islamic State group for trampling on human rights and torturing and killing civilians. He says Iran stands ready to help fight terrorism.

Rouhani said the U.S. policy is confused because it simultaneously opposes the militants while also trying to undermine the government of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

“This is clearly nebulous and ambiguous at best,” he said. “This is a very confusing behavior and policy.”

Nighttime raids began Monday on Islamic State militants in Syria.

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