Syria is ready for a military confrontation with the West and Israel will be "the biggest loser", a close adviser to President Bashar Al-Assad has warned.
Buthaina Shaaban, political and media adviser to the president, insisted that "we are not afraid of war and we will be prepared for it if it happens" in her comments to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen TV today.
Claiming that both Syria and its backer, Russia, have made preparations for an attack by the United States and its allies, she said that the Syrian government now has the advantage as it is in a much better situation than it has been in recent years. She also accused Israel of being interested in prolonging the Syrian conflict but that the regime would eventually gain victory over opposition groups.
Shaaban's warning comes after a tense week following the chemical attack by the Syrian regime on the opposition-held town of Douma, which killed more than 70 people. International outrage ensued, with world leaders including US President Donald Trump condemning the atrocity and threatening the Syrian regime with retaliation.
The US and the UK are debating the issue of military intervention in the war-torn country, which would run the risk of putting them in direct military confrontation with the Assad regime's backer, Russia.
Russia threat to shoot down any missiles fired at Syria prompting Trump to tweet: "Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!" You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Both the Syrian regime and Russia have denied responsibility for the chemical attack on Douma.