Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour has expressed his country’s opposition to any military offensive against Syria, calling on all countries to work together closely to prevent any such aggression against the Arab state.
In a Thursday meeting with Iran’s Ambassador to Beirut Ghazanfar Roknabadi, the Lebanese minister expressed hope that the United States would pay heed to the realities and pursue a rational and logical policy on the crisis in Syria given the strong global opposition to a military attack on Damascus. The Iranian envoy, for his part, submitted to Mansour a message by his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the ongoing developments in the region. Mansour and Roknabadi also exchanged views on the latest developments in Lebanon and other parts of the region, especially in light of the US war threats against Syria. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Roknabadi reaffirmed Iran’s opposition to any military action against Syria and said the Islamic Republic is doing its utmost to distance Lebanon and the entire Middle East from “hostile measures.” The call for military action against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21, which killed hundreds of Syrians. The Syrian government has repeatedly said the deadly attack was a false-flag operation carried out by the militants in a bid to draw in foreign military intervention. On August 31, US President Barack Obama delayed an imminent military strike against Syria to seek approval for the move from Congress, which will debate the issue when lawmakers return from recess on September 9. The Obama administration has, however, said it “has the right” to attack Syria even if the Congress does not approve the measure. On Thursday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warned the US against attacking Syria, saying Washington will certainly pay the price for such adventurism. “We believe that the Americans are committing a folly and mistake in Syria and will accordingly take the blow and definitely suffer,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.