Iran warns US-UK over Syria


THE DEPUTY Chairman of the Iranian Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, yesterday warned that the United States faced ‘severe consequences’ if it launches military strikes on Syria.

General Jazayeri said: ‘The US knows where the red line of the Syria front is laid; and crossing Syria’s red line in any form will have severe consequences for the White House.’

This came in response to US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel saying on Saturday that US military forces are in position to carry out ‘any option’ against Syria .

Hagel told reporters in Kuala Lumpur: ‘President Obama has asked the defence department to prepare options for all contingencies.

‘We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option – if he decides to employ one of those options.’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rejected the US threats to attack Syria, voicing his country’s support to Syria in the face of this aggression.

He said: ‘We condemned the campaign hatched against Syria which aims at justifying the aggression on Syria and the threats against the Syrian people.’

During a visit to India, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh expressed rejection of foreign military intervention in Syria, calling for a cessation of violence and a solution through peaceful means.

UK Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama spoke on the telephone for 40 minutes on Saturday.

Cameron’s office said in a statement that both leaders were ‘gravely concerned’ by the ‘increasing signs that this was a significant chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime’.

It said Cameron and Obama had ‘reiterated that significant use of chemical weapons would merit a serious response from the international community and both have tasked officials to examine all the options’.

They ignored the Syrian government’s insistence that Western-backed terrorists were responsible and Syrian Army soldiers had found chemical agents in tunnels used by the armed gangs to the east of Damascus.

Syria broadcast images of gas masks and plastic containers, adding that soldiers had ‘suffered from cases of suffocation’ when terrorists used poison gas ‘as a last resort’ after government forces made ‘big gains’ in the suburb of Jobar.

Syria’s General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces said in a statement that the armed forces seized a warehouse containing raw materials for making chemical weapons and protective masks and large amounts of medicines used for treating inhalation of poisonous chemical materials on Saturday morning in Jobar suburb in the Damascus countryside .

The statement stressed that the possession of such chemical materials by the armed terrorist groups is clear-cut evidence of their use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people and the armed forces, and it confirms the involvement of foreign sides in providing terrorists with all the requirements for using chemical weapons.

‘Using chemical weapons against our people and army by the armed terrorist groups proves the state of bankruptcy these groups have been suffering because of the severe blows they receive by our brave soldiers,’ the statement added.

The chairman of Iran’s Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, warned on Friday: ‘In case of a potential attack, Syria will defend itself with greater unity and power; and Syria’s regional allies will not stand idly by in the face of such a potential attack.’