Iran's IRGC in Syria since 2008; Opposition claims nation occupied

WASHINGTON — Iran has deployed 10,000 elite troops in Syria to protect the regime of President Bashar Assad and has been in effective control of the country for the past week, the opposition said.

U.S. intelligence sources said the IRGC is known to have maintained its presence in Syria since 2008.

The Reform Party of Syria said Iran has deployed its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria to bolster Syria's defense. The Washington-based opposition group said the IRGC contingent in Syria includes 10,000 troops, with headquarters in the northern province of Homs.

"In essence, the IRGC now occupies Syria and has become its de facto ruler," RPS spokesman Farid Ghadry said. "Syria has become the 32nd province of Iran."

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