Iran is ready to mount a resistance against a possible outside attack on Syria, two senior generals of the Islamic Republic said. The statements come as the level of violence in war-torn Syria continues to escalate.
The pro-Assad “resistance” would ensure that aggressors do not survive the conflict, a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Brigadier Gen. Massoud Jazaeri told Mashregh, a media outlet run by the Guards.
“A conflict in Syria will engulf the region and its main victims will be the people of Syria themselves,” he also noted. “The Zionist regime and the interests of the enemies of Syria are all within range of the resistance fire.”
“The defeat of the enemy at this stage will be a big event and, God willing, we will witness that,” Jazaeri added.
Mashragh earlier reported that Iran’s armed forces had formed a joint war room with officers from “the resistance,” which includes Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, which controls parts of Lebanon.
Brigadier General Mohammed Reza Naqdi, the head of Iran’s Basij militia who was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for alleged human rights abuses, said Tehran would not tolerate foreign interference to topple President Bashar al-Assad. He alleged that the United States was considering taking action in Syria to protect Israel.
“After the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq, and the disruption to their defensive posture in protecting the Zionist regime, America in order to defend the regime of the occupier of the Quds [Jerusalem] is after a new scenario in Syria,” he said. “But they will be defeated.”
Furthermore, he stressed that any attack on Syria or Iran would have negative consequences for Israel.
“Today all the people of the region are ready for wiping out this cancerous tumor and reaction to any aggression will be the freedom of Quds,” he said.
The statements come as violence in Syria continues to spiral out of control. Massacres of civilians, many of them women and children, have become routine, with the latest bloodshed happening earlier this week in the Hama province. Up to 78 people died in the mass killing, which came just a day before UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan addressed the General Assembly and the Security Council on the situation in the country.
The UN largely put the blame on the Syrian government and called for all parties to follow Annan’s six-point peace plan. The United States, the United Kingdom, France and others were quick to draw conclusions and called for more drastic measures to be taken against President Assad. Russia and China urged caution in pointing fingers, saying both sides were to blame.
Iran has been a staunch ally of the Assad government. Some analysts believe that the ongoing Syrian conflict is largely rooted in religion. Assad and the ruling elite are mostly members of the Alawite group, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Analysts argue that Shiite-dominated governments, such as Iran and Syria, have been pitted against Sunni countries and groups, including the Syrian opposition, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Western nations have traditionally relied on the Sunni side, though this has not always been the case.