Tehran gave Bashar Assad its strongest avowal of support Tuesday, Aug. 7, while heaping threats on the heads of his enemies. Saeed Jalili, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, stood alongside the Syrian ruler in Damascus at the end of their talks and vowed not to let Iran’s “close partnership with the Syrian leadership to be shaken by the uprising or external foes” or the “axis of resistance (Iran, Syria, Hizballah) be broken in any way.” Assad then affirmed his determination to purge Syria of violence and bring his forces to victory.
debkafile: When Iranian and Syrian leaders refer to “external foes,” they mean the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel.
Jalilii was sent to Damascus to publicly and unambiguously display Iran’s commitment to save Assad from being overthrown either by internal or external forces. He arrived from Beirut after a conference Monday with Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah. The Iranian official most likely laid before the Syrian ruler plans for the responses of the three allies to coming events in the Syrian conflict.
debkafile reported earlier Tuesday:
Tehran is not done with threats after shaking its fist at Israel: Tuesday, Aug. 7, Iranian Armed Forces Chief Gen. Hassan Firuzabadi pointed at Ankara and other Middle East capitals when he declared: “Turkey will be next in line for violence after Syria if it continues to work on behalf of Western interests.”
He went on to assert that “Ankara is toeing the Western (American) line in the region, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They are therefore accountable for the bloodshed in the Arab Republic [Syria]”
The Iranian army chief warned: “If those nations carry on this way, they should realize that Turkey is the next in line.” He was in fact holding them all responsible for a potential outbreak of war with Turkey.
Spreading around responsibility for violence with accompanying threats appears to be Iran's latest diplomatic ploy.
Earlier Tuesday, Tehran passed a message to Washington in which the United States was held responsible for the lives of the 48 Iranians nabbed by Syrian rebels in Damascus last week. The message was dropped off at the Swiss embassy in Tehran which handles US interests in the absence of diplomatic ties. It denied that the hostages were Revolutionary Guardsmen and insisted they were pilgrims to Shiite shrines in Syria. All the countries “supporting current events in Syria, starting with the US,” would be held responsible for their safety by Tehran.
The rebel Free Syrian Army‘s Al-Baraa Brigade has threatened to execute its Iranian “prisoners” if Syrian army shelling continues against Aleppo. Three were reported already dead as a result of that shelling.
Gen. Firuzabadi addressed his threat to Turkey shortly before the arrival in Ankara of Iran’s foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Salehi, in the hope of galvanizing the Turks into forcing the Syrian rebels to let go of their Iranian hostages.
Tehran now holds at least three nations, the US, Turkey and Israel, in peril of military action in the context of the Syrian conflict. Israel was the object of the first threat of engulfment by the "Syrian fire."
Director of Iran’s National Security Council Saeed Jalili arrived Monday in Beirut for urgent talks with Hizballah leaders, as disclosed by debkafile in an earlier report.