Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces General Hassan Firouzabadi warned the US and its allies to avoid exercising new plots in the region, saying that fighting and bombing the positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group cannot be a pretext for violating the sovereignty of Syria and Iraq.
“Military experts know that aerial bombardment is not the solution in the fight against terrorism and it can only be one in the chain of the military actions needed for a comprehensive fight against terrorism,” Firouzabadi said on Monday, implying the United States’ theatrical moves against terrorism.
He said the experience gained in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq in the last few months shows that effective fight against terrorism should include a simultaneous use of a wide range of tactics and methods, and said, “The experienced Syrian army forces and the country’s popular forces as well as the Iraqi army and popular forces should have the main role in this campaign.”
“Bombing the ISIL terrorists can no way be a permission for violating the sovereignty of the Syrian and Iraqi states,” Firouzabadi added.
He stressed the necessity for the regional countries’ vigilance against the US plots, and expressed the hope that “those Muslim regional states that helped to the creation of the ISIL at the beginning of this game would relinquish this plot”.
His comments came after NATO heads of state convened in the Welsh city of Newport on 4-5 September. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told foreign and defense ministers participating in the NATO summit that the US was forming a broad international coalition against ISIL.
Ministers from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark met in Wales to hammer out a strategy for battling ISIL, but the policy was questioned by many regional officials and political leaders.
In relevant remarks, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani on Saturday questioned the goals pursued by the US-led anti-ISIL coalition, and said Washington sought to violate the regional countries’ sovereignty.
“The US attempts to create an anti-terrorism coalition in collaboration with certain states which are themselves the main sponsors and suppliers of the terrorists are suspicious and lack transparency,” Shamkhani said, addressing a gathering of Iranian clerics in the Central city of Qom.
“The US seeks to continue its unilateralism and violate the countries’ sovereignty under the pretext of fighting terrorism,” he added.
Shamkhani underlined that Washington was also attempting to distract the world attention from the pivotal role that the US and its allies had played in the establishment, equipment and development of the terrorist groups under the pretext of overthrowing the legal government in Syria.
He said the United States’ move to form an anti-ISIL coalition was more like a Hollywood scenario to portray the US as a savior of the region.