Iran says Israel will ‘regret’ further attacks on Syria

An Israeli C-130 Hercules plane launches anti-missile flares. (File/ AFP)
Updated 27 September 2018
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Iran says Israel will ‘regret’ further attacks on Syria

  • Israel says it has carried out more than 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria
  • Iran said Israel will be sorry if it continues to attack Syria’s army and its allies

GENEVA: The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has said Israel will be sorry if it continues to attack Syria’s army and its allies.
Iran and Russia have both backed Syrian President Bashar Assad in a seven-year war against rebels.
But Israel, increasingly concerned that its enemy Iran may establish a long-term military presence in its neighbor, says it has carried out more than 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria in the last two years.
“The Zionist regime has been trying to establish a crisis in Syria and has taken steps to directly support terrorist groups and target the Syrian army and forces who are confronting terrorism,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said on Thursday, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
“And if it continues, it will face reactions that will cause regret.” He did not specify what this might mean.
The Supreme National Security Council, chaired by President Hassan Rouhani, decides on Iran’s foreign and security policy together with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Shamkhani made the comments during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, in Tehran.
Russia said on Monday it would supply Syria with an S-300 surface-to-air missile system despite strong Israeli objections, a week after Moscow accused Israel of indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet by Syria air defenses.


Italy’s Salvini says France has no interest in stabilising Libya

Italy's Interior Minister and deputy PM Matteo Salvini said France has no interest in stabilising the situation in Libya. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Italy’s Salvini says France has no interest in stabilising Libya

  • The French say accusation is baseless and reiterated their efforts in Libya
  • Relations between Italy and France, traditionally close allies, have grown frosty since the far-right League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement formed a coalition

ROME: Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, continuing a war of words between Rome and Paris, said on Tuesday that France was not looking to bring calm to violence-ravaged Libya because its energy interests there rivalled those of Italy.
Relations between Italy and France, traditionally close allies, have grown frosty since the far-right League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement formed a coalition last year and took aim at pro-EU French President Emmanuel Macron.
France’s Foreign Ministry and the French president’s office declined to respond immediately.
On Monday France summoned Italy’s ambassador after Salvini’s fellow deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, accused Paris of creating poverty in Africa and generating mass migration to Europe.
Salvini backed up Di Maio, saying France was looking to extract wealth from Africa rather than helping countries develop their own economies, and pointed particularly to Libya, which has been in turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 that overthrew strongman Muammar Qaddafi.
“In Libya, France has no interest in stabilising the situation, probably because it has oil interests that are opposed to those of Italy,” Salvini told Canale 5 TV station.
A French diplomatic source said it was not the first time that Salvini had made such comments and that it was probably because he felt he had been upstaged by Di Maio.
The source added that the accusation was baseless and reiterated that French efforts in Libya were aimed at stabilising the country, preventing the spread of terrorism and curbing the migration flows.
Italy’s Eni and France’s Total have separate joint ventures in Libya, but Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi denied in a newspaper interview last year that there was any conflict between the two firms in the north African state.
Salvini is head of the League, while Di Maio leads 5-Star. Both are campaigning hard for European parliamentary elections in May and are eager to show they have broken with the consensual politics of center-left and center-right parties.
The two men have repeatedly targeted neighboring France and accused Macron of doing nothing to help handle the hundreds of thousands of mainly African migrants who have reached Italy from Libya in recent years.
Asked about the latest diplomatic spat with Paris, Salvini said on Tuesday: “France has no reason to get upset because it pushed away tens of thousands of migrants (at the French border), abandoning them there as though they were beasts. We won’t take any lessons on humanity from Macron.”