A pair of Iranian warships have been dispatched to the Syrian coasts in the Mediterranean Sea, even as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has come under condemnation for his ongoing brutal crackdown on opposition within the country. According to the Fars News Agency, senior Iranian lawmaker Hossein Ebrahimi implied the ships are a warning to the United States against intervening militarily in the internal Syrian conflict.
Fars quoted Ebrahimi as saying, “The presence of Iran and Russia’s flotillas along the Syrian coasts has a clear message against the United States’ possible adventurism.”
Ebrahimi, the vice-chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, further said, “In case of any U.S. strategic mistake in Syria, there is a possibility that Iran, Russia and a number of other countries will give a crushing response to the U.S.”
Iran’s Press TV, citing the Mehr News Agency, said the Iranian vessels docked at the Syrian port of Tartus last Friday after passing through the Egyptian-controlled Suez Canal to reach the Mediterranean Sea. Press TV said the ships went to Syria to “provide maritime training to Syria’s naval forces under an agreement signed between Tehran and Damascus a year ago.”
Press TV, citing the Mehr News Agency, reported that the vessels sent to Syria are a destroyer and a supply ship.
The Syrian regime is believed to have killed thousands in a vicious response to protests that broke out almost one year ago against the Assad dictatorship. The violence has escalated in recent months. Militant opposition forces have raised concerns of a possible civil war in the country.
Iran is a strong ally of Syria, and Fars reported they have defended Assad’s proposed attempts at reform. However, those efforts by Assad have been rejected as insincere by nations around the world, including the Arab League.
(By Staff, www.themideastupdate.com, February 20, 2012)