IRGC General Explains Military Presence in Syria

IRGC General Explains Military Presence in Syria
IRGC General Explains Military Presence in Syria

Iran's presence in Syria is not only "strategic" and "operational" but also "tactical" and "technical", a senior military official says.

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Hossein Salami made the remark in an interview with state television on Monday.

"In addition to supporting the Syrian government and people politically, we provide their commanders with our military experience so that they can implement their plans based on our special instructions," Salami asserted, noting that Iran also plays a key role in modernizing the Arab country's army units as they are in dire need of professional training.

Highlighting Iran's contribution to the mobilization of voluntary forces to help the Syrian army, IRGC official said, "Iran has increased its military advisers in Syria following a recent request by the country as well as the field developments in the fight against terrorist groups in the war-ravaged country."

  Seasoned Advisors  

According to Salami, the recently sent advisors are more seasoned, which explains why they will play a more leading role in the anti-terror campaign, needless to say that the number of Iranian casualties are expected to go up as the fighting heightens.

Referring to Russia's bombing campaign in Syria in the form of surgical strikes on positions of insurgents, the general noted, "Syria's ground forces have launched a series of new operations in Hama, Idlib, Latakia, Damascus and Aleppo; moreover, they are continuously supported by Russian jets striking 94 targets in the past 24 hours."

Moscow says the bombing campaign that began on September 30 targets the so-called Islamic State militants and other terrorists, but the West claims the strikes have focused on rebels fighting government forces.

Salami believes that "military equations" will definitely change over the next few months in the Arab country as the Syrian troops are advancing on militants' strongholds.

On Russia's military presence in Syria, salami stated, "There are various analyses like this country's rivalry with the US or its being a staunch ally of Syria; nonetheless, the fact of the matter is that [many] IS commanders come from Central Asia and the Caucasus, in other words Russians are at risk by terrorist cells not only from Pakistan and Afghanistan but also from Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus, so they know if they do not take serious measures today, they will have to pay a higher price [at home] in near the future."

"The US and some regional states, including Saudi Arabia, are after toppling the Syrian government and implementing the same project in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran," he said, adding that such a dream will never come true as Iran is strong enough to remain unharmed by so-called regional or international coalitions which intend to threaten its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.