Information Warfare · Russia

‘We will respond with force’: Russia and Iran in stark warning against further US military action in Syria


The forceful words are intended for Russian citizens, only, as the rest of the world already understands Russia has been already humbled. 

Note the emphasis on messaging, statements, narrative.  

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As the crisis in the Middle East deepened a command centre made up of the forces of Russia, Iran and militias loyal to Assad claimed the US raid crossed “red lines”

Russia and Iran have told President trump he has crossed a “red line” and threatened to “respond with force” to any further US military action against the Syrian regime .

In a worrying escalation that deepened the crisis gripping the war-ravaged Middle East nation, President Bashar al-Assad ’s backers last night ramped up the rhetoric following the American cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base.

A joint command centre made up of the forces of Russia, Iran and militias loyal to Assad claimed the US raid crossed “red lines”.

A statement from the group said: “What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines.

“From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well,” said the statement published by the group on media outlet Ilam al Harbi (War Media).

The intervention fuels fears the six-year-old Syrian civil war is a proxy battleground for old Cold Warenemies – and raises the spectre of heightened military tension.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is expected to push for new sanctions against Russia over its support for Syria when he meets G7 foreign ministers in Italy.

Smoke billows following a reported air strike on a rebel-held area in the southern Syrian city of Daraa yesterday (Photo: Getty)
Donald Trump will push for sanctions against Russia when he meets the G7 (Photo: REUTERS)

It comes as Russia continued to mock Britain after the Foreign Secretary scrapped a trip to Moscow following the horrific chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Vladimir Putin’s regime claimed the UK was “in the shadow” of the US after Mr Johnson axed the diplomatic visit, fuelling claims he was urged by the US to abandon it.

In a series of provocative tweets, Russia’s embassy in London even suggested “conventional war” was possible if the G7 group of the world’s leading countries issued the Kremlin with an “ultimatum” after talks this week.

Mr Johnson had been due to meet Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov for negotiations in the Russian capital.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will jet into Moscow to issue a “clear and coordinated” message to the Kremlin over its support for the Damascus regime.

Putin’s regime claimed the UK was ‘in the shadow’ of the US (Photo: REUTERS)

Mr Johnson will instead push leading nations to demand Russia withdraws its forces from Syria when he meets G7 counterparts for talks in Italy.

In an angry statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said: “During Johnson’s visit to Moscow there were plans to hold open and exhaustive talks on the entire spectrum of international problems, and also to discuss the state of Russo-British relations, which have, in essence, been forced into a dead end by the UK.

“The decision to call off Johnson’s visit to Moscow confirms once again doubts in the presence of added value in speaking to the UK, which does not have its own position on the majority of present-day issues, nor does it have real influence on the course of international affairs, as it remains ‘in the shadow’ of its strategic partners.

A man is helped after being removing from the rubble of his house following a reported air strike by government forces on a rebel-held area in the southern Syrian city of Daraa (Photo: Getty)

“We do not feel that we need dialogue with London any more than it does.”

Russia’s embassy tweeted: “It is deplorable that Boris Johnson found himself unfit to stand Western ground on Syria in bilateral talks with Sergey Lavrov.”

Another message to its 48,600 followers said: “If yesterday’s statement by @BorisJohnson to be trusted, R Tillerson will deliver G7 ultimatum to Moscow next week. What are probable outcomes?

“War of clowns, war of muses, a conventional war, a mix of the above.”

It went on: “If G7 ultimatum to Russia brings us to real war, what is your trust in @realDonaldTrump as a wartime leader & @BorisJohnson as his lieutenant?”

The Foreign Secretary ditched the trip following last week’s suspected sarin nerve agent strike on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun which killed 87 people, including children.

The raid triggered retaliation from the White House, with US warships firing 59 cruise missiles onto the air base from where the attack was launched, in America’s first direct assault against the Syrian government.

In the aftermath of the blitz, Mr Johnson announced he would no longer travel to Russia – prompting an angry response from opposition leaders.

Members of the Syrian civil defence volunteers, also known as the White Helmets, remove a victim from the rubble (Photo: Getty)

Blasting the Foreign Secretary’s Moscow no-show, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “I think Boris Johnson should be in Moscow now … saying to the Russians just how appalling the situation is and the role that they should play.

“We have got to be frank with them and we shouldn’t just allow the Americans to go off and do that, we should be doing that ourselves.”

He called on the Russians to pursue peace talks in Geneva aimed at ending the six year Syrian civil war, and urged Mr Johnson to come clean over whether he was pressured by the US into ditching the visit

“He needs to be honest with us about that,” the Labour frontbencher told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

“We shouldn’t be basically being directed by America.

“But whether we are or not, he should be there making the case to Russia – condemning them of course, but then also saying the proof in whether or not they are serious about the future of peace is back to Geneva and the talks.

“He should be saying that on our behalf, firmly.”

The Foreign Secretary has been accused of looking ‘daft’ (Photo: PA)

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron earlier branded Mr Johnson a Washington “poodle” for scrapping the Moscow trip.

Ex-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond accused the Foreign Secretary of looking “daft” and claimed he was in “deep political trouble”.

The SNP ’s foreign affairs spokesman told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “Boris Johnson just looks daft.

“What is the argument for not going ahead with a visit? Rex Tillerson is going on Wednesday so it can’t be that we have moved to a Cold War position of no talking whatsoever.

“The idea the Foreign Secretary can’t be trusted because he might pursue his own line or have an independent thought or crossover what the Americans are going to say just makes him look like some sort of mini-me to the United States of America.

“That’s not a position any Foreign Secretary would want to be in.”

He added: “Boris Johnson looks in deep political trouble this morning.”

(Photo: Getty)

International Development Secretary Priti Patel defended her Cabinet colleague for pulling out of the trip.

She insisted: “This isn’t just about one voice, this is about the international community coming together and our Foreign Secretary is working with his American counterpart as that is the right thing to do.”

Pressed on whether the US had urged Mr Johnson to axe his visit, she insisted: “We are constantly engaging with all our counterparts and there has been dialogue.

“The Foreign Secretary has engaged his counterpart previously as well.”

A Government source accused Mr Johnson’s critics of playing politics.

“It’s a shame that some like Farron, Salmond and McDonnell put polls and politics above sorting out a civil war – it’s very sad and shows how desperate they are,” they said.

Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon heaped blame on Putin for last week’s attack.

Writing in the Sunday Times, he said: “Assad’s principal backer is Russia.

“By proxy Russia is responsible for every civilian death last week.

“If Russia wants to be absolved of responsibility for future attacks, Vladimir Putin needs to enforce commitments, to dismantle Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal for good, and to get fully engaged with the UN peacekeeping progress.”

In a sign of a deepening Labour rift over US President Donald Trump’s response to the attack, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said Washington “acting unilaterally was wrong”.

Moderate Labour MPs and the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson backed the White House’s military action.

But, insisting peace negotiations were the best route to ending the civil war, Ms Thornberry said: “Jaw jaw has killed a lot of Syrians, and so has the bombing.”

She denied Labour had a “weak position” on the use of military force, while Mr McDonnell added: “We are not a pacifist party.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/we-respond-force-russia-iran-10192508

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2 thoughts on “‘We will respond with force’: Russia and Iran in stark warning against further US military action in Syria

  1. Joel: “A joint command centre made up of the forces of Russia, Iran and militias loyal to Assad claimed the US raid crossed “red lines”.

    “A statement from the group said: “What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines.

    “From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well,” said the statement published by the group on media outlet Ilam al Harbi (War Media).”

    Ilam al Harbi is a Hezbollah outfit. There seems to be no other source for that statement.

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