An “attack on Syria is considered attack on Iran,” an advisor to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today. It was the strongest such support for Butcher Assad yet in Syria’s two-year-old civil war in which 60,000 people have been killed.
“Syria plays a very key role in supporting, or God forbid destabilizing, the resistance front,” Ali Akbar Velayati, the advisor and former foreign minister, continued, speaking of the resistance to Israel. The Assad regime in Syria is an important link between Tehran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza.
Velayati’s words come within hours of NATO’s announcement that six Patriot missile defense batteries are now operational on Turkey’s border with Syria. “This is a clear demonstration of the agility and flexibility of NATO forces and of our willingness to defend Allies who face threats in an unstable world,” NATO’s European commander said in a statement.
Syria already is a proxy war between regional powers, with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries plus Turkey supporting their factions and armies of choice, while the regime in Damascus gets support from Russia and Iran. Things would get even worse if the neighbors were drawn in to the conflict, which Turkey and Iran are inching closer to doing.