Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi suggested Sunday that Tehran will stand by Syria in case of a military intervention. In an interview with Al-Manar TV, he said: “I’m confident that any military action against Syria will blow up the entire region."
He added, "A military intervention does not solve any problem, especially because the Syrian situation differs from that of Libya, seeing the country’s sole role is fighting Israel. Syria is now paying the price of its resistance.”
Salehi also voiced puzzlement over the Arab League’s actions on Syria in the UN Security Council, at a time when the observer mission was still performing its job in Syria.
Bodies piling up in Homs (Photo: Reuters)
Addressing Russia and China's decision to veto the Arab League plan to end violence in Syria at the Security Council, he said: “The Russians are aware now that the Western states are interfering in the Middle East to draw a new map for the region."
Meanwhile, President Bashar Assad was spotted praying at a Damascus mosque to mark Prophet Muhammad's birthday.
The Syrian opposition, on its part, slammed Russia and China for their veto and said it would seek action in the General Assembly. "Russia and China are responsible for the escalation in massacres and genocide," the National Syrian Council said.
Arab newspapers chose to point a finger at the Arab League rather than Moscow and Beijing for Saturday's events. "The solution is not in New York but in Syria and Cairo," an op-ed published in the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat said.
Chinese delegate at UN vetoes Syria resolution (Photo: AP)
Columnist Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed explained that the Arab League is the one that gives legitimacy, not the Security Council, citing examples from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the unrest in Libya.
Meanwhile, sources close to Hezbollah told a Kuwaiti newspaper that Lebanon must do everything to support Syrian President Bashar Assad.
They stressed that Hezbollah will not let Assad's regime to fall, even at the expense of a conflict with Israel.
In an interview with The Telegraph Syria's most senior defector General Mustafa al-Sheikh estimated that Assad's army will collapse within a month. He said that only one third of the army was at combat readiness due to defections or absenteeism, while remaining troops were demoralized, most of its Sunni officers had fled, been arrested, or sidelined, and its equipment was degraded.
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