Syrian presidency vows to step up campaign against militants
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with AFP at the presidential palace in Damascus [AFP]

The Syrian presidency said a U.S. missile attack on a Syrian army air base in Homs had increased Syria's resolve to defeat insurgent groups, vowing to step up the pace of operations against them.

"This aggression has increased Syria's resolve to hit those terrorist agents, to continue to crush them, and to raise the pace of action to that end wherever they area," a statement from the presidency said.

The statement described the U.S. attack as rash and irresponsible and showing Washington was "naively pulled behind a false propaganda campaign" - a reference to accusations that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack this week.

The U.S. missile strike came in response to the chemical attack, which Washington says was carried out by the Syrian government. The Syrian government has strongly denied launching such an attack.

(Writing by Tom Perry, editing by Larry King)