Senior Iranian Official: 'Israel's Crime' of Syria Strike 'Will Not Remain Without Response'

Ali Akbar Velayati, top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, arrives in Damascus as Iranian death toll in strike rises to seven

Syria's T-4 air base near Homs.
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The top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday described a strike on a military airbase in Syria as "Israel's crime" and said it "will not remain without response," the Lebanese al-Mayadeen channel reported.

Ali Akbar Velayati was speaking upon his arrival in the Syrian capital Damascus, reported al-Mayadeen, which is well connected in government-held parts of Syria. 

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Seven Iranian military personnel were killed in Sunday’s air strike on a Syrian air base, Tasnim news agency said, almost double the number originally reported.

Iran's Fars news agency previously reported that four Iranians were killed in the air strike. Media outlets associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps named the four dead, which included a senior officer in Iran's unmanned aerial vehicle program. 

The bodies of the Iranians, described as military advisers, had been flown back to Iran and funerals would take place later on Tuesday, Tasnim said. Earlier Iranian media reports said four personnel were killed.

The attack took place hours after U.S. President Donald Trump warnedthere would be a “big price to pay” following the reports of a poison gas attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma. Syria’s government has denied any involvement in that attack.

“It seems the U.S. government is looking for an excuse for military intervention,” Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said as he arrived in Brazil early on Tuesday, according to state media.

“Iran’s stance on chemical weapons is clear and we condemn any use of them against any target,” Zarif added.