Syria to 'decisively' respond to foreign military action

Updated: 2013-08-30 05:50


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DAMASCUS - Syrian Defense Minister Fahed al- Fraij said Thursday that the army will "decisively" respond to any form of foreign military action, the state-TV reported.

The minister's remarks were made on a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hasan Dahqan, during which he accused " terrorists" of using chemical weapons on innocent civilians to obtain support from the superpowers and to cover their defeats.

For his part, Dahqan reportedly said the main loser in any war in the region is the one who starts it, adding that the use of violence would lead to an escalation of the crisis in Syria.

Earlier in the day, President Bashar al-Assad said his country would defend itself against any foreign aggression, stressing determination to "eliminate terrorism" in the war-weary country.

Al-Assad made the remarks during a meeting with pro-Syria Yemeni parties' leaders and lawmakers, according to state-run SANA news agency.

The threats of military action on Syria would only make us more adherent to its rooted bases and independent decision, al-Assad added.

Meanwhile, al-Assad expressed determination to "eliminate terrorism" supported by "Israel and Western countries to serve their interests in fragmenting the region and subduing its people. "

His remarks came as the United States and its allies are mulling imminent military action against Syria, following accusations by the rebels that the Syrian government was responsible for a nerve agent attack near Damascus last week.

Damascus has denied the claims and accuses Washington of seeking to frame Syria to justify a military action.