Sunday, August 25, 2013

Iran warns US against overstepping red line on Syria

Source: Press TV

Deputy Chairman of Iranian Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri has warned the United States of the “severe consequences” of crossing the red line on Syria.

“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,” Brigadier General Jazayeri said on Sunday.

The Iranian commander said that the ongoing terrorist war in Syria is masterminded by the US and the reactionary forces in the region against the resistance front, adding that despite the enemy plots, the Syrian government and nation have gained considerable victories thanks to their resistance against this massive aggression.

He said that the Syrian government and nation currently have the upper hand in the imposed terrorist war.

Jazayeri’s remarks came after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on August 23 that the Pentagon was positioning military forces as part of “contingency options” provided to US President Barack Obama regarding Syria.

Hagel’s comments have been interpreted as a tacit suggestion that the US may be preparing for a military strike on Syria. The US defense secretary repeated similar remarks on Sunday during a visit to Malaysia.

On August 21, the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that hundreds had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar. However, the Syrian government categorically rejected the baseless claims, and announced later that the chemical attack had actually been carried out by the militants themselves as a false flag operation.

Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani also on Sunday described as shameful the United States’ warmongering gestures and propaganda against Syria.

Larijani said that the false accusation by the militants that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons in Syria is meant to set the stage for Washington and the Israeli regime to take advantage of the situation to advance their warmongering policies.

Chairman of Iran's Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi on August 23 also warned against a foreign military attack on Syria.

“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,” Boroujerdi pointed out.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011.

A very large number of the militants operating inside Syria are reportedly foreign nationals.

According to reports, the West and its regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants inside Syria

UK, US warn Syria of ‘serious response’ over alleged chemical attack


Source: Press TV

Britain and the US have threatened Syria with a “serious response” over last week’s alleged chemical attack in the Arab country, which they claim was carried out by government forces.

An alleged chemical attack on parts of the Syrian capital Damascus killed hundreds of civilians on Wednesday.

The Syrian government has categorically denied any role in the attack.

However, British Prime Minister David Cameron and the US president Barack Obama said during a 40-minute phone call on Saturday that they are “gravely concerned” about the incident, claiming there are "increasing signs that this was a significant chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime".

"[Cameron and Obama] 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," Cameron’s office said in a statement.

Britain and the US’s fresh anti-Syrian accusations come as a team of the United Nations chemical weapons inspectors are in Syria to investigate chemical weapons use in the country.

Foreign-backed terrorists in Syria claim that government forces carried out a chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar on August 21, killing 1,300 people.

However, Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that a footage posted online by the terrorists to back their claim, had been posted before the attack took place

US ready for ‘all contingencies’ in Syria: Pentagon chief


Source: Press TV

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has reiterated that the Pentagon has prepared “options for all contingencies” in Syria and is ready to use force if President Barack Obama gives the green-light.

"President Obama has asked the Defense 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,'' Hagel said Sunday in Malaysia where he was starting a one-week tour of Asia.

He said that the administration was still weighing whether to launch a military offensive against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following reports of a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus earlier this week.

"There are risks and consequences for any option that would be used or not used - for action or inaction," the Pentagon chief told reporters. "You have to come to the central point of what would be the objective if you are to pursue an action or not pursue an action. So all those assessments are being made."

President Obama met with his national security team at the White House early on Saturday to discuss reports of the chemical attack in Syria and elaborate on a response.

"We have a range of options available, and we are going to act very deliberately so that we're making decisions consistent with our national interest as well as our assessment of what can advance our objectives in Syria," a senior administration official told CNN on condition of anonymity when discussing the options being revised in ongoing White House meetings.

Also on Saturday, Obama called British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss a potential response to the suspected chemical attack.

Meanwhile, the US Navy is pre-positioning four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is moving its forces closer to Syria in anticipation of a possible order for airstrikes by President Obama.

Obama said last year that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would “cross a red line.”

The Syrian opposition accuses government forces of attacking militant strongholds near the capital with a toxic gas on Wednesday. Damascus has rejected the claim as baseless, saying it has proof that the militants were responsible for the attack which killed hundreds of people

Syrian army finds chemicals in militants tunnels


Source: Press TV

Syrian army soldiers have found chemical agents in tunnels dug by the foreign-backed militants in a northeastern suburb of the capital, Damascus, Syrian TV says.

The discovery came after the government forces surrounded a sector of militant-held district of Jobar on Saturday.

"Army heroes are entering the tunnels of the terrorists and saw chemical agents," Syria television said, adding, "In some cases, soldiers are suffocating while entering Jobar.”

It added that ambulances arrived in the region to rescue the people who were suffocating in Jobar and the area is now controlled by Syrian army forces.

The Syrian government also stated that the foreign-backed militants had carried out the recent chemical attack in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.

On Wednesday, Syria's opposition claimed that hundreds were killed in a government chemical attack on militants strongholds in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar before dawn.

The Syrian army has vehemently denied allegations that it used chemical weapons against militants in the suburbs of the Ghouta region, saying the accusations were fabricated to distract the visiting team of UN chemical weapons experts and to cover up militants losses.

Meanwhile, UN Under-Secretary-General Angela Kane arrived in Damascus on Saturday for talks aimed at establishing an investigation into the Wednesday’s attack.

In a related development, Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday accused Syria’s opposition of preventing an objective probe into the alleged attack.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, however, said his commanders have prepared a range of options for President Barack Obama if he chooses to go for military action against Syria.

"The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for contingencies, and that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options - whatever options the president might choose," he said.


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