- Iran and Russia threaten 'we will respond to any aggression' by the US in Syria
- President Trump ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles be fired at al-Shayrat air base
- It followed a nerve agent attack on town of Khan Sheikhoun, blamed on Assad
- Boris Johnson has cancelled a visit to Russia for talks with his counterpart
Iran and Russia have threatened to hit back if the US follows up on its air strike in Syria last week, ramping up tensions in the Middle East.
It comes after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cancelled a trip to Moscow and prepared a new diplomatic offensive against Russia.
He is also set to urge the Russians to pull their forces out, something which would involve a major loss of face for President Putin.
Eighty-nine people, including 33 children, died on Tuesday after a nerve agent was used in an attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria.
The Assad regime has denied it was responsible and the Russians have claimed it was a 'false flag' incident carried out by jihadists who want to stir up tensions between Russia and the US.
President Trump infuriated Moscow when he authorised an airstrike on a Syrian air base on Friday, which killed at least six people.
British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said today it was the 'right call' for the Americans to bomb the air base as retribiution for a 'barbaric, immoral and illegal' act by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who he described as a Russian 'proxy'.
But in a joint statement the Russian and Iranians said: 'We will respond to any aggression'.
The Sun reported that a joint command centre in Syria 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.'
- Russian and Iranian forces warned US they would retaliate with military action
- It comes after Donald Trump crossed a 'red line' with bombing of Syrian forces
- The Russian Embassy in London suggested the situation could lead to ‘real war'
- Boris Johnson to push for Russia to face tough sanctions over support for Assad
Russian and Iranian forces last night warned Donald Trump they would retaliate with military action if he launched more airstrikes on Syria.
In an ominous threat raising the prospect of war, they said the US President had crossed a ‘red line’ with his surprise missile bombardment on Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
‘From now on we will respond with force to any breach of red lines and America knows our ability to respond well,’ the military chiefs said in a joint statement with Hezbollah.
The Russian Embassy in London last night suggested there could be ‘real war’ if Moscow is presented with an ultimatum over Syria.
In a further sign of increasing tensions, the Russian Embassy in London responded with anger to claims the G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and America – could today agree to slap Putin with the threat of sanctions unless he pulls his troops out of Syria and ends his support for Assad.
In a series of provocative tweets on its official account, the embassy suggested that if Russia were given an ultimatum, the outcome would be either, ‘war of clowns, war of muses, a conventional war or a mix of the above’.
It added: ‘If G7 ultimatum to Russia brings us to real war, what is your trust in @realDonaldTrump as a wartime leader & @BorisJohnson as his lieutenant?’ Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last night said the US had made a ‘strategic mistake’ by attacking Syria.
He made clear he was not intimidated by claims the airstrike was a warning that America was willing to target other countries. Tehran has been a key backer of Assad in Syria’s six-year civil war.
Khamenei said: ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran will not leave the field in the face of threats. Former American officials created Daesh [Islamic State] and the current leaders are reinforcing it.’
Donald Trump entered military terra incognita on Thursday by launching an illegal Tomahawk missile strike on an air base in eastern Syria. Beyond the clear violation of international law, the practical results are likely to be disastrous, drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syrian quagmire.