- Iran Sends “Thousands” Of Troops To Syria For Russian-Backed Assault On Key City
by Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com
As those who follow Mid-East affairs are acutely aware, the regime in Syria has enjoyed both military and financial support from Iran for the duration of the country’s civil war.
Syria cannot fall to the West if Tehran intends to preserve the regional balance of power and an Iran-friendly Damascus ensures the supply lines remain open between the IRGC and Hezbollah. Lose Syria, and suddenly, the Mid-East tide turns in favor of the Saudis and Qatar and that, clearly, is an unacceptable outcome.
That said, Iran’s role on the ground in Syria has taken some off guard of late. Perhaps it’s the fact that Tehran’s participation on the ground has become more overt even as one would imagine that Iran would be keen to not antagonize the West on the heels of the nuclear deal which has the potential to facilitate the lifting of crippling economic sanctions. The key seems to be Russia’s involvement, which effectively gives Iran’s Syrian ground operations the superpower stamp of approval.
The strategy, as we’ve noted on several occasions of late, is that Russia clears the way with aggressive aerial bombardments and then Iran, operating through either Hezbollah, Iraqi Shiite militias, and/or the IRGC sweeps in on the ground and takes care of whatever anti-regime forces may be left in the wake of the Russian airstrikes.
This has worked well thus far and now apparently, Iran has sent “thousands” of troops to Syria in preparation for an assault on Aleppo. Here’s Reuters: