President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has friends in the region poised “to strike out” in the event of an intervention into Syria, says a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The warning was particularly sent to “hated” Arab countries.
“None of Syria’s friends or the great front of resistance has yet entered the scene, and in the event that this happens, decisive blows will be struck at the enemy, especially the hated Arab rulers,” Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, a spokesman of the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Fars news agency.
No country in particular was mentioned. Iran remains a key ally of official Damascus, while leaders of such Gulf countries as Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Qatar openly support Syrian rebels.
The hawkish rhetoric heard from Iran comes on top of the exchange over Syria’s chemical and biological arsenal, which the Arab country pledged Monday not to use against its own population, but only to combat “foreign aggressors.”
This was the first time Syria’s arsenals became an official reality, since the nation is one of just six non-signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1992. Syria’s purported stockpiles of nerve agents, including mustard gas, as well as Scud missiles capable of delivery, are secure according to its Foreign Ministry. Media reports say the weapons are being moved away from sites of severe clashes between pro-regime and opposition forces.
A torrent of warnings flooded Damascus following the statements, as officials from the EU and UN voiced their concerns over the possible use of the chemical arsenal. Continue reading