Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Iran says Syria gas attack reports 'excuse' for military action

Gerardo Duncan | 12 April, 2018, 00:46

More than ever, Syria is in danger of becoming an arena for the settling of scores among world powers.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the chemical attack on Syrian citizens.

"The Syrian army's use of chemicals does not seem logical since it has the upper-hand in its war against armed terrorists", stressed Qassemi. "The government, along with Assad himself, will simply disappear".

Syria finally joined the convention in 2013, admitting under heavy US-Russian pressure to having a toxic arms stockpile, and staving off threatened US air strikes.

He also said that a strike on a Syrian airbase, that Damascus and Moscow have blamed on Israel, was a "very risky development".

Seven Iranian military personnel were killed in the strike on the Tiyas, or T-4, air base near Homs, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.

Israel did not acknowledge carrying out the strike.

An alleged chemical attack that left dozens dead in Syrias rebel-held town of Douma has sparked global outrage, with US President Donald Trump warning there would be a "big price to pay".

Shi'ite-dominated Iran is Assad's main regional ally and has provided military and economic support for his conflict with a range of Sunni Muslim rebel and militant groups.

"The fact that Iran is participating in such a summit, under Russia's wing, gives the Iranians the tailwind to continue on their current path", an Israeli official said. But it said the suffocations were the result of shelters collapsing on people inside them. "People can no longer handle it".

In recent weeks, government forces have recaptured villages and towns in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of the capital.

"If Assad has boxed us into a position where we've got to throw some missiles at him, it doesn't really change the picture".

Tehran, which usually remains mum about Israeli strikes harming its assets in Syria, acknowledged - through its semi-official media outlets - that Iranians were killed by Israel's warplanes, and vowed revenge.

Syria's state-run news agency earlier reported that missiles struck the T4 air base early on Monday.

"Accepting Iranian entrenchment in Syria would be to accept Iranians putting a chokehold on us". Iran also could also push back against the United States in places such as Iraq, where U.S. troops are present.

Israel's foreign ministry had no comment when asked about the accusations.

"The Cuban missile crisis might be the template Putin is looking at right now", he said. Trump added that a decision would be made in 24 to 48 hours.

"The timing of the strike isn't coincidental", he said.

Mr Trump had earlier taken to Twitter to issue a warning to Syrian and its allies. Despite all the attention this war gets from global, political and humanitarian organizations, it is now more than seven years since it began - and Syria is suffering from three open wounds.

Valiati praised the actions of the Syrian army in the attack.

Russia's Foreign Ministry called the latest reports of a chemical attack a provocation.

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