Adviser Describes Syrian Response to Possible US Strike as “Unpredictable”
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An adviser to the Iranian parliament speaker cautioned the US against any military action against Syria, saying Syrian military’s response to a possible air strike by Americans will be unpredictable.
“A US attack on Syria is not wise, particularly considering the issue that it would happen in a region that is like a powder keg, and Syria’s reaction to the air strike by the US or NATO is unpredictable,” Hossein Sheikholeslam told Tasnim on Tuesday.
The Iranian official also ruled out the possibility that the US could muster international support for launching a military attack on Syria, arguing that Russia and China will use their veto power to block a military action at the UN Security Council.
“Thus,” he noted “the US will have to do it (attack) independently…or with some members of NATO.”
The US needs aerial superiority to initiate any attack on Syria, but the air defense systems of Syria, as was shown by the downing of a Turkish fighter jet in June 2012, are strong, and can repel future attacks, he said.
He went on to say that aerial attacks are not enough and need to be followed by a ground invasion, which again would be risky for the US, as there are 90 thousand popular defense forces on the ground in Syria -- something that could give Damascus the upper hand on the battlefield.
In relevant development on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said any military intervention in Syria without a mandate from the United Nations would be a grave violation of international law.
Lavrov appealed at a news conference to the United States and other Western powers to avoid "past mistakes" by intervening in Syria following accusations by rebel forces that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against them.
Following last week’s chemical attack, the West has engineered a media campaign to facilitate a military incursion, Lavrov said.
The diplomat also cast doubts on the veracity of US and European claims about the incident. He told reporters on Monday the West had not produced any proof that President Assad's forces had used chemical weapons.