“Syria has a very basic and key role in the region for promoting firm policies of resistance … For this reason an attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran and Iran’s allies,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to the Mehr news agency.

Tehran sees Damascus as part of an axis of opposition to Israeli and Western influence in the Middle East.

In September, an Iranian military official was quoted as saying Iran would take action if the United States was to attack Syria.