An Iranian commander is warning the United States over a possible military move against the Tehran-backed regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The semi-official Fars news agency, which has close ties to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, quotes Gen. Masoud Jazayeri as warning that “trespassing over the red line in Syria will have severe consequences for the White House.”
Gen. Jazayeri did not provide details but said Washington is well aware of such red lines. He said the war in Syria is a product of a U.S. plot and “regional reactionary” countries, a common reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Earlier Saturday, Washington said U.S. naval forces are moving closer to Syria as President Barack Obama considers a military response to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
Israel ministers urge US response to Syria “crime”
Prominent Israeli Cabinet ministers are calling for a U.S.-led response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria last week that the prime minister describes as a “terrible crime.”
Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that “this situation cannot continue.” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told Israel Radio that a U.S. response to the alleged poison gas attack would help discourage future chemical weapons use, but also have security implications for Israel.
Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio the attack requires a response. He said the chances that Syria would attack Israel as a result of U.S. action were slim but that the army should be prepared for such an eventuality.
Neither Netanyahu nor the ministers specified what type of response they were urging. The U.S. is considering military options.
Syria warns against foreign intervention after chemical attack
Syrian authorities warned the United States against any military action over a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria’s civil war, saying this would “inflame the Middle East”.
U.S. President Barack Obama and top advisers are hashing out options for responding to the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria amid what Britain called “increasing signs” that the Syrian government was responsible for Wednesday’s nerve gas attack on civilians in a rebel-dominated area.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government has accused the insurgents of firing the chemical weapons “as a last resort” to try to provoke foreign intervention on their side.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said that any U.S.-led military action would be “no picnic”.
“U.S. military intervention will create a very serious fallout and a ball of fire that will inflame the Middle East,” Zoabi told the Syrian state news agency SANA.
He also suggested that U.N. inspectors would not be allowed to visit the site of the alleged nerve gas attack as it was not part of a previously agreed list of locations where opposition activists say government forces used chemical weapons. Syrian authorities have denied any use of poison gas in the conflict.
Zoabi said Damascus would cooperate “significantly and transparently” with U.N. investigations but not allow any “inspection that will prejudice national sovereignty”.