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US, Israeli actions in Syria meant to boost terrorists' morale: Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s foreign minister says fresh claims of a chemical attack by the Syrian government and threats of a military response to the alleged incident are yet another attempt by the US and its allies to boost the morale of terror groups, which are taking heavy blows on the battlefield in the Arab state.

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks on Tuesday upon his arrival in Brazil from Senegal, on the second leg of his tour of four African and Latin American states. Uruguay and Namibia will be his next stops.

Asked about Israel’s recent missile attack on a Syrian air base, the top Iranian diplomat said it was not unprecedented.

“The situation of US-backed terrorists is Syria is not good and every day they are suffering new blows. The Zionist regime and the US have in different stages rushed to the scene to boost the morale of terrorists," he said.

“Whenever the terrorists face defeats, the Zionist regime launches operations and so do the Americans,” he added.

The suspected chemical weapons attack hit Douma late on Saturday. It reportedly killed at least 60 people and wounded more than 1,000 others.

The Western countries rushed to blame the incident on the Syrian government. Damascus rejected the accusations as “chemical fabrications,” which were made by the terrorists themselves in a bid to halt pro-government forces’ advances.

Syria, backed by the Russian air force, has already liberated almost all Eastern Ghouta and has reached an evacuation deal with the terrorists to leave Douma, their last stronghold in the suburban area near Damascus.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif warned of the repercussions of the “dangerous” policies adopted by Washington and Tel Aviv in the region, among them the relocation of Daesh terrorists.

The Iranian minister described the terrorists as a highly dangerous American “investment,” saying, “There is authentic intelligence that the US is relocating the Daesh terrorists” to use them in different regions.

“These policies are very dangerous and their outcome will be dangerous for both regional and international peace and security as well as the US itself,” he added.

Asked about an alleged gas attack on the militant-held Syrian town of Douma last weekend, Zarif reiterated Iran’s opposition to any use of chemical weapons by any party, adding, however, “We think the US government is seeking a pretext for intervention.”

In the pre-dawn hours Monday, Israeli F-15 warplanes carried out strikes via Lebanese air space on T-4 air base in Syria's Homs Province, killing and wounding several people.

US President Trump, however, warned that Russia, Iran and Syria will have a “big price to pay” following the suspected chemical attack, saying his administration will soon be making “some major decisions” on Syria.

Citing unnamed US officials, Reuters reported Monday that Trump is weighing a multinational military response to the purported poison gas attack.

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