14:22 GMT +315 November 2018
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    Syrian government supporters wave Syrian, Iranian and Russian flags as they chant slogans against US President Trump during demonstrations following a wave of US, British and French military strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for suspected chemical attack against civilians, in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, April 14, 2018.

    'US Provocations in Syria Could Lead to War' - Political Scientist

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    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said that unmanned aerial vehicles involved in an attack on the Hmeymim airbase were piloted by a US Poseidon 8 surveillance aircraft.

    Hossein Rouivaran, an expert on the Middle East and political scientist, said in an interview with Sputnik Iran that the US presence in Syria could be called an occupation. He explained that since Washington had violated the territorial integrity of the Arab Republic it had also violated international law.

    Commenting on the Russian statements that a US Poseidon 8 airplane was responsible for coordinating the attack on the Russian Hmeymim airbase, Rouivaran noted that such provocations could have severe consequences.

    "This is a new US tactic. They control the drones that attack Russian military bases [in Syria]. There have been a lot of such cases recently. Such provocations on the US' part could intensify tensions and even lead to war. This is quite a reckless tactic. The US is playing with fire," he said.

    Rouivaran is adamant that Russia will be able to defend its bases in Syria, but added that if the US conducts another such attack, it would practically mean an "indirect declaration of war."

    READ MORE: Putin, Trump May Discuss Reports of US Plane Leading Attack on Hmeymim Base

    Hasan Hanizadeh, an analyst, political scientist and former editor for Iran's Mehr News Agency, said that the US had built its bases east of Euphrates and in the Abu Kamal region of Deir ez-Zor Governorate to counter Russia and Iran and to carry out provocations.

    "By [conducting provocations] the US is creating preconditions to push Russia and Iran out of Syria. One of the latest such provocations by the US was the [drone] attack on the Russian military base in Hmeymim. Now they are busy training Daesh* militants in the Abu Kamal region," he added.

    Hanizadeh thinks that the US provocations will only lead to Russia and Iran uniting against Washington to "show a joint response."

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia

    The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    opinion, declaration of war, international law, occupation, Iran, Syria, United States
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