As a top Iran MP visited President Assad on Thursday, leading officials in Tehran promised more military support to prop up the Syria’s leader.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament’s National Security Commission, said at the meeting with Assad, “We will continue our economic and political support as well as our military advice until the complete victory over terrorism and its supporters.”
Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan put out another signal from Tehran, hailing a new coordinating center in Baghdad with Russia, Syria, and Iraq, as a “joint action plan…for the complete elimination of the Islamic State”.
Dehghan hinted at the real objective — backing the regime-Russian offensive against Syrian rebels, with Moscow’s airstrikes covering ground assaults on four fronts — when he said “new developments in Syria are currently forming that, God willing, will prepare the groundwork for the complete elimination of takfiri groups”.
None of the officials confirmed claimed that “hundreds” of Iranian troops had been deployed near Syria’s largest city Aleppo in expectation of yet another regime-Russian front in the nine-day offensive. However, Alison Meuse of the US National Public Radio reported:
ro-Assad accounts said on Friday morning that instead Iranian commanders were overseeing another 1,500 Iraqi and Pakistani militiamen backed by Tehran.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, while repeating “Iran has not sent soldiers to Syria”, said on Thursday that “a military advisory group with experience fighting terrorism has been dispatched” at the request of the Assad regime and that “our military advisors to the Syrian army and [Syrian] officials will help Russia if Moscow asks”.
Earlier week, photographs were circulated claiming to be of General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Qods Force, inside Syria.
See Syria Daily, Oct 15: Iranian Troops Reportedly Gathering Near Aleppo
On Wednesday, the Supreme Leader had pointed to an Iranian escalation when he praised General Hossein Hamedani, the overall commander of Iran’s effort in Syria who was killed last week near Aleppo by the Islamic State.
Two other Iranian commanders, both former leaders of Revolutionary Guards brigades, died in northern Syria earlier this week.