DUBAI (Reuters) – Members of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)
are in Syria providing non-military assistance and Iran may get
involved militarily if Syria comes under attack, its commander said on
The statement is the first official acknowledgement from a
senior military commander that Iran has a military presence on the
ground in Syria where an uprising has left tens of thousands dead since
it began 18 months ago.
Western countries and Syrian opposition groups have
accused Iran of providing weapons and expertise to Syrian armed forces
and have suspected an Iranian military presence inside the country. Iran
has denied this.
The Islamic Republic has backed President Bashar al-Assad
since the crisis began and regards his rule as a key part of its axis
of resistance against Israel and Sunni Arab states.
“A number of members of the Qods Force are present in
Syria but this does not constitute a military presence,”
commander-in-chief of the IRGC Mohammad Ali Jafari said at a news conference on Sunday, Iranian news agency ISNA reported.
Qods is an IRGC unit set up to export
Iran’s ideology. It has been accused of plotting attacks inside Iraq
since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein... >>>