Iran Threatens Israel Over Syria Base Attack

YERUSHALAYIM -
Ali Akbar Velayati, aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khameini. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Iran on Tuesday threatened Israel over its alleged attack early Monday on a Syrian air base. Syrian media on Tuesday quoted Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khameini, as saying that “the attack on the base in Syria will not remain unanswered. We will respond to Israel’s crime.”

Velayati praised the actions of the Syrian army in the attack. According to Russia, two Israeli warplanes attacked the T-4 base outside the city of Homs early Monday, and fired eight missiles. Three of the missiles hit targets in the base, while, according to Syrian claims, its forces destroyed the other five missiles before they exploded. Fourteen people were killed in the attack. Syrian media reports Monday said that four of those killed were Iranians, and two of the dead – one Iranian and one Syrian – were top members of the military establishments of both countries.

Velayati also said that there had been no chemical attack in the southern Syrian city of Douma over the weekend, as Western countries claimed. Despite images and reports of hundreds of people dying in the attack, Valiati said the incident did not take place, adding that the “disappointment and dismay” of the United States had led it to make up the story.

Also Tuesday, Iran’s Defense Minister, Amir Khatani, threatened Israel, saying that “it would be best if the enemy did not test the capabilities of our defenses.” Speaking to a Lebanese newspaper affiliated with the Hezbollah terror group, Khatani said that “any small error in their course of action will result in a painful response from Iran.”

Iran is one of President Bashar Assad’s strongest backers and has sent thousands of Iran-backed gunmen to back his forces.