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Iran sends fighters to Syria—with Russia’s help

Iran sends fighters to Syria—with Russia’s help

Bolstering pro-Assad forces

On September 30, Russia broke from existing frameworks when it began its own airstrikes against rebels in Syria. As the airstrikes continued, it became clear that Vladimir Putin’s sympathies toward the brutal Assad regime were become manifest in the bombs Russian aircraft dropped not on Assad’s strongholds, but on anti-regime rebels backed by the United States and other western coalition forces.

Now both Syrian activists and Iranian officials are reporting that over the past few days, Iran has sent over 1,500 fighters into Syria via Damascus; Hezbollah fighters have also made the journey. Officials claim that these fighters are prepping to launch an assault on militants in Aleppo in northern Syria, and that this move has been bolstered by Russian airstrikes.

Via Fox News:

“Sending more troops from Hezbollah, and Iran only increases the shelf life of the Syrian regime, which is destined to end,” Maj. Jamil Saleh, the leader of Tajammu Alezzah, a CIA-backed Free Syrian Army faction, told the AP. “It will only add more destruction and displacement.”

Their arrival is almost certain to fuel a civil war in Syria which has already claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and displaced half of the country’s population.

Iranian and Syrian officials have long claimed Iran has advisers and military experts in Syria. But Wednesday’s reports are the first confirmation of Iranian fighters actually taking part in combat operations there.

Before Wednesday, we knew that Iran was at least sending advisors into the region to help pro-Assad fighters. On Friday, Iranian officials confirmed that Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani was killed during an airstrike on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. He was on an advisory mission to Syria, and is believed to have been instrumental in the training and organization of Assad’s anti-rebel forces.

Now, we know this was all part of a bigger plan—Hamedani isn’t the only high-profile Iranian official that has been killed in connection with the current Syrian civil war.

Aleppo is strategically important. After officials at the Pentagon dumped their “train and equip” program for rebel forces, Ash Carter told the press that the work that US forces have done with rebels in northern Syria is a prime example of what they would like to pursue with other groups in other parts of Syria going forward. Aleppo was our “success story” in terms of the anti-ISIS mission—and that’s where an Iranian general was holed up, organizing an assault on western-backed forces.

ISIS attack threats doubled in 2015. We should be focused on “degrading and destroying” extremist efforts in the Middle East and around the world, but instead we’re forced to tiptoe around and negotiate with two of the most hostile regimes on the planet—one of whom we just agreed to trust with a budding nuclear program.

Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller


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Putin put together a coalition that includes both Iran, Iraq and Syrian government forces. Can’t decide if it’s the much-touted quagmire or smart diplomacy.

Does anybody believe that the alternative to Assad is some kind of left progressive democracy? Anybody? We’ve seen the alternative to Assad is a faux media campaign run from halfway across the globe by faux Syrians and actual Syrians who engage in atrocities that would make Tamerlane weep with horror.

The moderate rebels drop their weapons at the first sign of government troops or hand their weapons over to men who rape and decapitate infants. Since when has our meddling made the ME better? Assad is not America’s president. He is not our business. He is the legitimate government of Syria.

Tell me how well our meddling has gone in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Yemen, etc. Are those places materially better off? Would you like me to link to pictures of what Iran and Egypt looked like before we started our meddling?

Women in skirts, heads uncovered, women in colleges. Now it might not be our fault that the ME has firmly rejected our modern ways but we certainly have not made things better.

Syria is not a fight with a unified moderate resistance. It is a bunch of different groups all of which want to rule.

    Don’t blame Islamic resurgence on US “meddling”. Russia has its own problem with Islamism, btw. In Chechnya, women are obligated to cover their heads when entering government buildings, polygamy is practiced in defiance to Russian law and at a recent Putin’s birthday celebration at a Grozny stadium the crows was chanting Allahu Akbar. To his credit Putin did not attend.
    What they Putin did in Chechnya is first pounded the insurgence really well and then found a clan to install to watch the region for him.

      I understand correlation is not causation. I can point to nowhere where our meddling has improved the ME. We are dangerous to our enemies and deadly to our friends and our lessons are clear; become a nuclear power or get sodomized with iron rods then murdered. Stick with Russia or see your country taken from you and go into exile wherever the Americans allow it.

      If anyone truly believes in the Syrian ‘resistance’ speak right up. Tell me where they have made anything better. Tell me where they do not give their arms we give them to AQ/ISIS folks.

      Anyone else remember ‘Amina’ that brave, brave Syrian blogger? Tell me again how the resistance is real and grass roots and not a race to the bottom of who can become ISIS lite the fastest.

        That’s because Russia is guided by realpolitik and US, including under president Bush for whom I voted is guided by mush. We need to rediscover our roots, rethink our immigration policy, which, I think, is the key, and rediscover our resolve.

Sources are saying that Iran’s parliament revised the JCPOA and passed the revision yesterday. Not the document the USA announced. Among other things, the new version puts an end to the Israeli nuclear program, ends all sanctions, dismantles any snapback provisions, strengthens their missile arsenal and forbids any inspection of a military site.

If this is true, it is a complete embrassment for the USA. Several sources have confirmed it but you can see for yourself. I cannot link the MEMRI article because they are down for maintenance.

ISIS is inside of a pincer movement. The Russians are supplying air support, Assad and the Iranians provide the ground troops on the eastern front. The Kurds are the northern front and the Iraqi troops are on the west. ISIS would be going into hell if they ran to Jordan or Lebanon. All of these people are willing to fight and we should just get out of their way.If ISIS thought they could take Baghdad, they would have done it while they were on a roll. Now Putin has them reeling and running.

    forksdad in reply to dunce1239. | October 15, 2015 at 1:30 am

    All the Kurds have to do is hold their positions. The Syrian Army and Russian airforce can hammer away. That’s probably why they are having the problems with the Turks. They hate the kurds like poison. Pretty much mutual. I would guess that’s why we didn’t provide them with more support because while they don’t cut and run like our ‘trained and vetted’ allies they are no friends to the Turks.