A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned the United States it is creating a “second Vietnam” in Syria, Iranian media reported.
“The Americans themselves have created the ISIS [Islamic State] and the Al-Nusra in Syria and now they have come onto the scene and occupied Eastern Euphrates. They should know that Syria and Eastern Euphrates will be another Vietnam for the U.S.,” said the adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, according to i24news.
In March, President Donald Trump said the U.S. would be out of Syria "very soon" in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
"We're knocking the hell out of ISIS. We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon," he said, adding, "Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon. Very soon, we're coming out.”
Later, French President Emmanuel Macron said he had convinced Trump to keep a U.S. presence in Syria for "the long term.”
The White House, however, insisted that Trump still wants U.S. forces in Syria to return home as soon as possible.
Following Trump’s initial statement that he wanted troops out of Syria, the U.S., Britain and France carried out a wave of punitive strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Douma.
Velayati has threatened both the United States and Israel in the past, having vowed that his country would continue its ballistic missile tests, after the United States sharply criticized one of those tests.
In February he said that Iran would maintain its involvement and presence in the region, in order to thwart the “plots” of Israel and the U.S.
More recently, Velayati declared that the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem speeds up the “annihilation of the Zionist regime”.
Iran is a key supporter of Assad in Syria and has been providing him with both financial aid and military advisors against a range of opposing forces.
Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)