Iran Says There Will Be No War with US; Damascus Stirring Tensions; Belarus Receives Yak-130 Aircraft

PANAGYURISHTE, Bulgaria (’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said there will be no war with the United States, despite tensions between the two countries that recently escalated as a result of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” on Tehran, Middle East Eye reports.

Khamenei said on Tuesday that any confrontation between the US and Iran would not be “a military one”, the country’s state-run PressTV reported.

He also said “there was not going to be any war”.

“The Iranian nation’s definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and in this confrontation, the US would be forced into a retreat,” Khamenei said. “Neither we nor they – who know war will not be in their interest – are after war.”

Kurdish-led authorities accused Damascus on Tuesday of trying to incite strife by exploiting a recent wave of protests in the mainly Arab swathes of eastern Syria they hold, MEMO reports.

Residents in Deir Ez-Zor province, near the Iraqi border, have taken to the streets in recent weeks with demands including better services, political representation and access to the oil-rich region’s resources.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) control that territory along the Euphrates river after defeating Daesh there over the past year with US help.

Syria’s foreign ministry sent letters to the United Nations on Monday calling for an end to the “attacks and treason of the SDF militias”.

The government blamed the SDF for repressing protesters and asserted “its right to defend citizens in all corners of the country”, state media said.

The Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence Forces (BAFADF) received their third consignment of four Russian-made Yakovlev Yak-130 operational trainers, Jane`s reports.

“Under an agreement between the Belarusian MoD and Russia’s JSC Irkut Corporation, Belarus has received four YaK-130 operational trainers. The aircraft were officially handed over to military unit No 19764 [the 206th Flight Training Center] on 11 May,” a Belarusian military spokesperson said.

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Source: MEMO, Jane`s, Middle East Eye