BEIRUT (AP) — An aide to Iran's supreme leader is warning that any attack on Syria would be deemed an attack on Iran, a sign that Tehran will do all it can to protect embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency quotes the aide (Ali Akbar Velayati) to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying the U.S. and Arab states in the Gulf have attacked what he called the "golden ring of resistance" by backing the rebels trying to oust the Syrian leader. He says Syria plays a key role in supporting the "resistance front," a reference to the militant groups, Hamas and Hezbollah, and Iran and Syria, which are all anti-American. And he says an attack on Syria is considered an attack on Iran and its allies.
The comments came as Syrian troops conducting raids against rebels discovered a trio of tunnels near the capital being used to smuggle weapons in the fight to topple Assad.