Debkafiles – April 11, 2018
Tehran’s resolve to make Israel pay for its airborne missile attack on the T-4 air base was conveyed on April 11 by outing the 7 Rev Guardsmen killed in the attack. Iran has never, in all seven years of its intervention in the Syria war, released its military casualties. But on Wednesday, April 11, for the first time, the Iranian Guards mouthpiece, the Tasnim News Agency, ran the names and photos of the seven members of its aerospace unit, who died in the airborne missile strike on the Iranian compound of the big T-4 bases it shares with the Russian and Syrian air forces. The agency also ran pictures of heavily damaged equipment.
By coming clean about its painful setback, the Tehran regime implicitly assured the public that it was not in vain and it was committed to a reckoning with the enemy for the deaths and damage on display. The supreme leader’s senior adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, said so bluntly when he arrived in Damascus on Tuesday: “Israel’s air strike on the Syrian air base will not go unanswered,” he said, As he spoke, Tehran gained support from its ally in Moscow with the visit of Alexander Lavrentiev, the special Russian emissary on Syria. In a long meeting with Iran’s national security adviser Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Russian said Iran’s decision for a military response to the T-4 attack was understandble. He then proposed combining Iran’s action against Israel with Russia’s plans for countering the forthcoming US-British-France operation in Syria.