Iran Deploys 15,000 Troops To Syria

Syria Reports 15,000 Elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Soldiers, Trained In Unconventional Warfare, Have Arrived To Help Assad Crush The Violent Uprising.

The online edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel is reporting that a deployment of 15,000 elite Iranian soldiers trained in unconventional warfare have just recently arrived in Syria to help the Assad regime crush the violent uprising.

The news comes as Russia and China vetoed a U.N. security council resolution to condemn Assad’s tactics in crushing the rebellion. Non-stop video footage of the tactics shown repeatedly on western media outlets has showed repeated mortar assaults on what appears to be civilian housing. Those media reports came along with a disclaimer that the authenticity or claims in the video can not be verified because media outlets are banned from entering Syria.

Another interesting story here is for Iranian troops to have just entered Syria, almost at the same time of the U.N. resolution vote, Iran must have deployed their troops some time ago. Clearly, the U.S. and their allies would have known of about the movement of Iranian troops.

Had the U.N. resolution passed, Iran would have inadvertently acted in violation the U.N. resolution, possible giving the west an excuse to launch attacks against Iran. Perhaps this is part of the reason China and Russia vetoed the resolution.

From Peak Oil’s Public Policy section:

Report: Top Iran military official aiding Assad’s crackdown on Syria opposition

Prominent Syrian lawmaker says the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force has recently arrived in the country to help manage Assad’s regime brutal suppression of a 11-month-long popular unrest.

A top Iranian military official is actively aiding the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in suppressing popular unrest throughout the country, a top member of the National Syrian Council said on Monday.

Syrian Tank Clashes With Military Defectors

Syrian Tank Clashes With Military Defectors

According to the Syrian official, Kassam Salimani, commander of the Quds Force, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces unit, has arrived in Syria recently and has taken up a spot in the war room which manages army maneuvers against opposition forces.

The war room is also reportedly populated by Assad himself, as well as his brother Maher, brother-in-law Assaf Shaukat and cousin Rami Makhlouf, with the Syrian chief of staff’s authority reportedly restricted and divided up between other military commanders.

The Quds Force includes 15,000 elite soldiers who operated, among other locations, in Iraq during the war, and the specialty of which is engaging in unconventional warfare on foreign soil. Among other duties, the Quds Force is in charge of traning and funding Hezbollah.

Salimani’s presence in Syria serves as an indication of the kind of battle that Assad is planning against opposition forces, with the Syrian army reportedly planning to wage all out war against the rebel city of Homs.

According to the report, the Syrian president’s goal is to gain ground ahead of a planned visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who will be arriving in the country along with a military delegation which includes the head of Russian intelligence.

Assad’s aim, sources say, is to display his control of the situation and his ability to suppress the unrest, with the determining battles to be staged in Homs and in the reoccupation of the town of Zabadani, which fell to Free Syria Army forces.

An Al-Arabiya report indicated that the battle over Zabadani has already begun, with Syrian soldiers defecting to the opposition along with eight tanks, and that Homs has been placed under a siege which has included the cutting of electricity and water supplies.

The report also claimed that the Syrian army for the first time has been using rockets in order to target houses as well as mortars to hit populated areas. So far, 60 people were reportedly killed and hundreds wounded in this battle, as well as reports of the demolition of seven houses, residents and all.

Syrian opposition organizations that are active internationally are currently trying to gain a political front bypassing the UN Security Council, where a resolution underwritten by the Arab League failed due to Russian and Chinese vetoes on Saturday.

At this stage, opposition leaders are trying to find a way forward, as it is clear that Turkey and the Arab states oppose military action against the Assad regime, and the imposing of economic sanctions will not stop Assad.

Facing Russia and Chinese opposition, and the Iranian threat to open a new front, there is doubt whether a western coalition will agree to act directly against Syria. The question is whether the Free Syrian Army will be able to get additional military assistance, and to arm itself with heavy artillery, tanks and shells so that it will be able to pose a real challenge to the Syrian army, and change the civilian resistance into a real military struggle, much like the rebel forces in Libya.

Along with the Syria Free Army’s attempts to increase the number of defectors from the Syrian military, the opposition is also considering offering the minority Alawite elite guarantees of their safety in exchange for ordering Alawites to leave the regime and join the civilian resistance.

Along with the Syria Free Army’s attempts to increase the number of defectors from the Syrian military, the opposition is also considering offering the minority Alawite elite guarantees of their safety in exchange for ordering Alawites to leave the regime and join the civilian resistance.

Parallel to these efforts, however, the opposition seems to be facing a new and violent civilian group that is comprised mainly of Syria’s Kurdish minority. This group is working as strongmen for the regime, both in Damascus and in Kurdish population centers.
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