Iran says Syria gas attack reports 'excuse' for military action

Syrian soldiers gather on the outskirts of Douma as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta

Israel is faced worldwide blowback Tuesday over the bombardment of Syria's largest air base, a center for the Iranian military effort to support Syrian President Bashar Assad. "He will pay a very heavy price" for allowing Iran to use south Lebanon as a staging area for attacks, the official said.

"A lack of coherent strategy toward Syria is strengthening our adversaries and weakening our allies", Block warned and "the power vacuum would immeasurably strengthen Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and his evil regime propped up by his patrons Iran and Russian Federation".

Shi'ite-dominated Iran is Assad's main regional ally and has provided military and economic support for his conflict with a range of Sunni Muslim rebel and militant groups.

In recent weeks, government forces have recaptured villages and towns in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of the capital. Syrian media reports Monday said that four of those killed were Iranians, and two of the dead - one Iranian and one Syrian - were top members of the military establishments of both countries. In February, Syrian anti-aircraft fire brought down an Israeli F-16 jet that was attacking the positions of Iran-backed forces in Syria.

"The Zionist regime and the U.S. have in different stages rushed to the scene to boost the morale of terrorists", he said, according to Iran's Press TV.

"A president who says he wants to get the hell out of Syria is not really in a position to threaten the military progress of the regime", he said.

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Israel's foreign ministry had no comment when asked about the accusations.

In his tweets Sunday, Trump called Assad an "animal" and delivered a rare personal criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting him. Trump added that a decision would be made in 24 to 48 hours.

A number of strikes on targets in Syria have been attributed to Israel, though it rarely confirms such raids.

While still not explicitly admitting to the T-4 base strike, Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the Jewish state would not back down in confronting creeping Iranian hegemony.

Valiati praised the actions of the Syrian army in the attack.

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