Syria's Bashar Al-Assad (L) receives Iranian top official Ali Akbar Velayati in Damascus on April 11, 2018 (Syrian's State News Agency SANA)
CAIRO – 13 April 2018: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" said U.S. President Donald Trump in his latest early morning tweet on Thursday, amid fears of a new cold war in which a military confrontation between Russia and the West may occur.
The tweet also managed to cast doubt over the timing of Trump’s threatened strike on Syria in response to a reported poison gas attack on civilians in Douma city.
In the meantime, Iran, the intimate ally to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, has taken Trump’s strike threat seriously. Iranian political circles have reiterated support to Assad’s regime, in addition, the Revolutionary Guards forces vowed to avenge the seven Iranians who died in the Israeli strike on the T4 airbase near the city of Homs in Syria on April 9.
Iranian diplomat Hussein Sheikh al-Eslam doubted the American capability in carrying out strikes on Syria. “Americans do not have enough courage to confront the Syrian army and the allies’ forces. They know well that if they come to Syria, they will be killed,” said Hussein who spent many years in Damascus when he was serving as Iran’s ambassador to Syria.
He noted that any looming procedures by the U.S. administration will not affect the Syrian issue, stressing that Trump’s threats are unrealistic risks which can never be implemented on the ground.
Top Iranian official’s visit to Damascus
"Syria's enemies are angry because of its military advances against terrorist groups," Ali Akbar Velayati, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's top adviser, said during his visit to Damascus on Wednesday according to Iranian state TV.
The two-day visit to Syria gives several messages to the international community. Velayati’s participation in the “Jerusalem is our Direction” Conference in Damascus reaffirms Iranian support to Assad who was in the company of Velayati during his visit to Eastern Ghouta on Thursday.
“Western threats to attack Syria are based on lies fabricated over the liberation of Eastern Ghouta,” Velayati said. Assad replied that “these western likely moves would contribute to more destabilization in the region.”
In response to the Israeli strike at the Syrian T4 airbase and the murder of Iranian military personnel, Velayati threatened that “the Israeli crime of attacking the Syrian airbase will definitely be answered.”
Moscow is rushing too to maintain its presence in Syria, same as Tehran which has witnessed challenging domestic dilemmas following several protests across the country in the past months.
Iranian protesters have taken to the streets since last December, demanding that the Iranian government pay more attention to the economic files instead of spending millions of dollars due to Tehran’s presence in Syria and Yemen, according to various mottos chanted by protesters. “Leave Syria, and take care of our life.”