Iranian Commandos Deployed to Syria as Advisers

Iranian Commandos Deployed to Syria as AdvisersIranian Commandos Deployed to Syria as Advisers

A military official said commandos from an Iranian army unit have been deployed to Syria on an advisory mission.

Amir Ali Arasteh, deputy for coordination in the Iranian Army, said on Monday that the commandos from Brigade 65 had taken on a mission of advising Syrian forces, Press TV reported.

Iran maintains military advisers in Syria, where the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is fighting an array of foreign-backed militant forces, including, but not limited to, those of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group. Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the Al-Nusra Front, is another one of the groups engaged in brutal activities against the Syrian people.

The Iranian advisory presence comes as part of defense agreements reached between the governments of Iran and Syria. Iran does not have boots on the ground in the Arab country.

Russia, another Syrian ally, has been conducting an aerial campaign against terrorist groups in Syria since September 2015. The bombing campaign had been requested by the Syrian government.

With allied help, the Syrian government has been able to take back militant-held areas, including most recently the ancient city of Palmyra, which had been overrun by IS back in May 2015.

Amid the increasing victories of the Syrian Army in degrading militants, Russia announced in mid-March that it would be pulling out its forces from Syria to provide a stimulus for the peace talks held under the aegis of the UN for the Arab country.  

The United States has been leading an international bombing campaign in Syria—without an authorization from Damascus—since September 2014. That campaign, declared to be against IS, has failed to dislodge the terrorist group, however.