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    Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

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    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:08 am

    Iran eclipses U.S. as Iraq's ally in fight against militants

    BAGHDAD — In the eyes of most Iraqis, their country's best ally in the war against the Islamic State group is not the United States and the coalition air campaign against the militants. It's Iran, which is credited with stopping the extremists' march on Baghda

    Shiite, non-Arab Iran has effectively taken charge of Iraq's defense against the Sunni radical group, meeting the Iraqi government's need for immediate help on the ground.

    Two to three Iranian military aircraft a day land at Baghdad airport, bringing in weapons and ammunition. Iran's most potent military force and best known general — the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force and its commander Gen. Ghasem Soleimani — are organizing Iraqi forces and have become the de facto leaders of Iraqi Shiite militias that are the backbone of the fight. Iran carried out airstrikes to help push militants from an Iraqi province on its border.

    The result is that Tehran's influence in Iraq, already high since U.S. forces left at the end of 2011, has grown to an unprecedented level.

    Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition have helped push back the militants in parts of the north, including breaking a siege of a Shiite town. But many Iraqis believe the Americans mainly want to help the Kurds. Airstrikes helped Kurdish forces stop extremists threatening the capital of the Kurdish autonomous zone, Irbil, in August. But even that feat is accorded by many Iraqis to a timely airlift of Iranian arms to the Kurds.

    The meltdown of Iraq's military in the face of the extremists' summer blitz across much of northern and western Iraq gave Iran the opportunity to step in. A flood of Shiite volunteers joined the fight to fill the void, bolstering the ranks of Shiite militias already allied with Iran.

    Those militias have now been more or less integrated into Iraq's official security apparatus, an Iraqi government official said, calling this the Islamic State group's "biggest gift" to Tehran.

    "Iran's hold on Iraq grows tighter and faster every day," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sensitive subject.

    Over the past year, Iran sold Iraq nearly $10 billion worth of weapons and hardware, mostly weapons for urban warfare like assault rifles, heavy machine-guns and rocket launchers, he said. The daily stream of Iranian cargo planes bringing weapons to Baghdad was confirmed at a news conference by a former Shiite militia leader, Jamal Jaafar. Better known by his alias Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis, Jaafar is second in command of the recently created state agency in charge of volunteer fighters.

    Some Sunnis are clearly worried. Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Karbuly said the United States must increase its support of Iraq against the extremists in order to reduce Iran's influence.

    "Iran now dominates Iraq," he said.

    Equally key to Iran's growing influence has been a persistent suspicion of Washington's intentions, particularly among Shiite militiamen.

    Hadi al-Amiri, a prominent Shiite politician close to Iran and leader of the powerful Badr militia, complained in a recent television interview that Iraq was a victim of decades of "wrong" U.S. policies in the Middle East. He charged that the precursors of the region's Sunni extremists had in the past enjoyed U.S. patronage.

    "We fear that the objective of the U.S.-led coalition is to contain Daesh, rather than exterminate it," he said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

    Speaking this week at a memorial service in Iran for a Revolutionary Guard officer gunned down by an Islamic State sniper, al-Amiri mused that Iraqi Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's three-month-old administration would have been a "government-in-exile" if not for Iran's swift help to protect Baghdad, according to Iran's Fars news agency.

    The praise does not just come from Shiite politicians.

    During a trip to Tehran last week, Iraq's Sunni defense minister, Khaled al-Obeidi, said Iran's help against the militants is a "strategic necessity" for Iraq.

    U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones acknowledged to The Associated Press that Iran plays an important role in fighting the Islamic State group. He made clear there was no interaction between the U.S. and Iranian operations.

    "Let's face it, Iran is an important neighbor to Iraq. There has to be cooperation between Iran and Iraq," he said in a Dec. 4 interview. "The Iranians are talking to the Iraqi security forces and we're talking to Iraqi security forces . We're relying on them to do the de-confliction."

    U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Iraqi leaders have kept the U.S. informed about Iranian activities against IS and that Washington is watching the relationship carefully.

    He said if the two countries grow closer economically or politically, "as long as the Iraqi government remains committed to inclusivity of all the various groups inside the country, then I think Iranian influence will be positive."

    But Ali Khedery, a top U.S. official in Iraq from 2003 until 2009, warned that Iranian influence will be "strategically catastrophic."

    "It further consolidates Iran's grip over the Levant and Iraq," said Khedery, who resigned in protest over U.S. failure to thwart Iranian influence.

    Iran's sphere of influence extends to neighboring Syria, where it has stood by President Bashar Assad's regime against the mostly Sunni opposition, and to Lebanon, where its main proxy, Hezbollah, is that nation's most powerful group. Also, the Shiite Houthi rebels' takeover of parts of Yemen in recent months has raised concerns of Iranian influence there.

    The signs of Iran's weight in Iraq are many. The prime minister, the Sunni parliament speaker and other top politicians have visited Tehran. Most senior Iraqi Sunni politicians have stopped publicly criticizing Iran and vilifying Shiite politicians for close ties to Tehran.

    On billboards around Baghdad, death notices of Iraqi militiamen killed in battle are emblazoned with images of Iran's late spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Last month, an unprecedented number of Iranians — estimated at up to 4 million — crossed into Iraq to visit a revered Shiite shrine south of Baghdad for a major holy day. Visa charges for the Iranians have been waived.

    The two countries keep their military cooperation relatively quiet in public. Iran occasionally publicizes the death in battle of one of its senior officers in Iraq or speaks of its "advisory" military role. Iraq's state media don't mention Iranian military involvement. Paradoxically, they do publicize airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition or the arrival of American advisers.

    Soleimani, the Iranian general, has spent much of the past seven months on Iraq's front lines, leading militias and coordinating tactics with government forces.

    A fluent Arabic speaker, the 58-year-old has reportedly been nicknamed the "living martyr" by Iran's Khamenei.

    A senior Shiite Iraqi militiaman who recently met him said he was impressed by his mix of piety and courage. He said he saw the Iranian general at a forward position in Baghdad's western outskirts, discussing coordinates in Farsi with the gunner of an Iraqi army U.S.-made Abrams tank. The gunner was a member of the Revolutionary Guard, the militiaman said.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Ken Dilanian in Washington, and Vivian Salama and Sameer N. Yacoub in Baghdad contributed to this report.

    http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/2015/01/12/iran-iraq-militants/21623533/


    Last edited by ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:37 pm; edited 2 times in total

    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    How much has Iran helped Iraq against Islamic State?

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:15 am

    KHALIS, IRAQ — The closer one gets to Iraq’s front line with the Islamic State, the more evidence one finds of Iran’s deep involvement in Baghdad's battle against Sunni jihadists.

    Last June, after IS swept across the Syrian border into Iraq, Shiite Iran was the first to provide guns, ammunition, and military advisers. It drew on its decades-long experience in organizing Shiite militias in foreign lands to bolster Iraq’s beleaguered armed forces.

    Two to three Iranian military aircraft now arrive daily in Baghdad; Iran sold Iraq nearly $10 billion in weapons and hardware in 2014, the Associated Press reported Monday.

    Recommended: How much do you know about the Islamic State?
    But Iraqi perceptions of Iran’s military assistance are often colored by sectarian politics. And while many credit Iran’s role as decisive on the ground, assessments vary of its military value, particularly when compared with a US-led air campaign that the Pentagon says has struck more than 3,200 IS targets in Syria and Iraq.



    PHOTOS OF THE DAY Photos of the Day 01/13
    For their part, Iranian officials champion both their role in “saving” Baghdad and the prowess of Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Qods Force commander, in swiftly halting and then reversing the advance of IS forces in Iraq’s northeastern Diyala Province. They also assert that the US effort has been “ineffective” and “not serious.”

    “Without Iran, Iraq would be collapsed by now,” says Uday al-Khadran, the Shiite mayor of Khalis, 35 miles north of Baghdad, whose office has worked closely to marshal Iran-backed Shiite militias against IS.

    Iran gave support “from all sides: morale, military and personnel support,” says Mr. Khadran. “The only effective country that helps Iraq is Iran.”

    Coalition air campaign
    Iraq’s Shiite prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi, has welcomed US airstrikes, but voiced criticism of parts of the US role. On Sunday he said the US-led coalition had been “very slow” in support and training of the Iraqi Army, though he allowed there “has been an acceleration” in the last two weeks.

    The Pentagon said last week it is “confident that the destruction level is high” from the coalition air campaign.

    Not all Iraqi Shiites are dismissive of the US role. Some say US airpower, and not Iran's on the ground support,  was the key to holding IS at the gates of Baghdad.

    It's difficult to overstate the impact that the fall of Mosul to IS last June has had on the nation's sectarian politics. Just days after Mosul fell, Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani – the country's most revered Shiite cleric whose political interventions are very rare – issued a fatwa in which he called on "all able-bodied Iraqis" to defend the Iraqi nation.

    That was widely taken as encouragement for the formation of Shiite militias, something Mr. Sistani's representatives say they oppose. But nevertheless, his call to arms has resulted in a surge of recruits for Shiite militias, which Iran has long backed, both before and after US troops invaded Iraq in 2003.

    Shiite militias resented
    The Iranian strategy has resurrected Iraq's Shiite militias and deployed them effectively against IS on some front lines, those same militia contributed to tens of thousands of deaths at the peak of Iraq’s sectarian battles from 2006-2008.

    Officials of Iraq’s Sunni minority say human rights abuses by the Shiite militias are as rampant now as they were 5 years ago. And they grate at the number of banners strung up with Iranian revolutionary slogans – against Israel, for example, or to support religious pilgrims – along with images of Iran’s previous and current supreme leaders, Ayatollahs Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei.

    “The pictures of these Iranian imams on Baghdad streets annoys the Sunnis, and that raises sectarian feelings among the Sunnis,” says Talal al-Zobaei, a Sunni former lawmaker and political scientist. “From the Sunni view, [Shiite militias] are enemies, they are killers.”

    “If the militias become strong, it will be for the benefit of Iran,” says Hisham Alhashimi, a strategic analyst in Baghdad. “Iran will decide if this monster is to be contained or to run wild, and whether they want it to be part of [official] Iraqi forces or not. Even the [top clerics] can’t control them. This part of the story is in the hands of Iran completely.”

    There is deep irony in the fact that Iranian generals who fought the 1980s Iran-Iraq war against Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-led regime – men such as General Soleimani – are now credited with riding to the rescue of Baghdad, now under a Shiite-led government.

    Conditions for Iranian help
    As a consequence, Iran has seen its currency rise in Iraq. Last week it declared that it would not allow IS within 25 miles of its shared border. Some Iraqis, however, warn that the battle against IS has provided an easy pretext for Tehran to engage more deeply in Iraq.

    “We are looking into how to curtail the influence of Iran here,” says Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite who served as interim prime minister after Saddam Hussein was defeated. “They are supplying weapons to the Iraq government, so of course the influence of Iran is increasing.”

    While the precise number of the hundreds of Iranian officers serving in Iraq is unknown, their involvement has been at a high level and, by many accounts, decisive. The highest ranking Iranian casualty so far, Maj. Gen. Hamid Taghavi of the Revolutionary Guard, was killed by IS snipers while taking cover behind an electrical transformer near Samarra just two weeks ago.

    Iran’s help, however, is “conditional” in terms of affecting Iraqi politics, “and this will cause a lot of rifts within Iraq,” says Mr. Allawi. “But if you step forward and help a country, without getting involved in the micro-policies, then there is no problem.”

    Without naming the countries, Allawi says he was asked to recruit two Arab regional players to also assist Iraq, which eases Iraq’s military dependence on Iran. They are “helping Iraq, but not stepping in. They are supplying capabilities intelligence, some weapons free of charge to Iraq,” he says.

    Iran's response speedier
    But in this northeastern Iraqi province, largely free now of IS militants, Iran is given much credit for reversing the IS juggernaut.

    “It’s a big difference when you are in trouble,” says Col. Saad Mirwah of the Iraqi 5th Division. “One [the US] makes a phone call, and the other [Iran] takes you by the hand and helps you.”

    In one instance, only six 120mm mortar shells remained at one frontline position. The leader of the Iran-backed Badr militia called Baghdad and 250 more shells were sent immediately. Another time, troops were in desperate need of ammunition.

    “One hour after this call, they got their ammunition. In the bad old days, it would take days, and writing letters,” says Mirwah. “There is a direct line with Iranian advisers. They say, ‘We need this and that,’ and it comes directly.”

    The US and the West “did not betray us, but they left us – they hesitated in making a decision,” says Mayor Khadran, echoing a common view in Iraq about Washington’s delay in deciding how to help. When IS was “at the doors of Baghdad, the [US-led] coalition does nothing. Iran, it’s very fast. They opened their doors immediately.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2015/0113/How-much-has-Iran-helped-Iraq-against-Islamic-State-The-answer-is-political


    Last edited by ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:23 am

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    sepheronx

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  sepheronx on Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:49 pm

    I hand it to you Iranians. You guys do provide real support to your allies/friends and I am happy you guys arr assisting both Iraq and Syria in their fight against ISIS. I wish Iranian fighters, Iraqi fighters and Syrian army best of luck and safety in their fight against this evil. Iraq needs to forget the US. Turn to Iran and Syria.

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:51 pm

    Dempsey: Iran’s Military Action in Iraq is ‘Positive’

    Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey has described Iran’s military action against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq as a “positive” development, according to recent comments.

    Dempsey, during a join press conference with his Israeli counterpart earlier this month, said Iran’s involvement in Iraq is not surprising to the United States and currently does not threaten American efforts in that country to battle IS

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/dempsey-irans-military-action-in-iraq-is-positive/

    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    Iran's aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:59 pm

    Iran-Backed Militias Are Getting U.S. Weapons




    Senator John McCain, the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, traveled to Baghdad last week and met with senior Americans and Iraqis, including Abadi. He told us that officials from both countries informed him that the Iraqi government was handing over American weapons to Shiite militias connected to Iran

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-01-08/iranbacked-militias-are-getting-us-weapons-in-iraq


    Iran Building Missile Sites in Syria


    Iranian military leaders admitted this week to building and operating missile-manufacturing plants in Syria, where it was also revealed that Tehran is helping to build a secret nuclear facility.

    An Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander stated in a recent interview that the country’s Supreme Leader ordered forces to build and operate missile plants in Syria, where Iran continues to fight on behalf of embattled leader Bashar al-Assad,according to regional media reports.

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-building-missile-sites-in-syria/

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    George1

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  George1 on Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:50 pm

    Iran ready to train Iraqi officers in its military academies

    Officers from Oman, Pakistan and Syria are currently taking training courses in the Iranian Army’s Command and General Staff College (DAFOOS).

    TEHRAN, February, 9. /TASS/. Iran is ready to train Iraqi officers in its military academies, Iran’s News Agency IRNA reports.

    The head of the elite Iranian Army’s Command and General Staff College (DAFOOS) brigadier general Hossein Valivand told the IRNA news agency that the academy is ready to admit Iraqi officers in order to undergo and improve military service. According to the general, the issue of training officers from the neighboring country was discussed during Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi’s visit to Tehran last December.

    The IRNA news agency reminds that during the negotiations in Tehran al-Obeidi has urged Iran to provide the Iraqi army with strong support. Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has responded to his counterpart that “Iran’s support for the Iraqi armed forces is part of the Islamic Republic’s defense and security strategies”. As far as training of Kurdish Peshmerga military forces in DAFOOS are concerned, the general Valivand highlights that “DAFOOS is an elite military academy and is ready to cooperate with armed forces of all friendly countries”.

    “When our Defense Ministry signs a security defense contract with a country, then we can train officers of that country or send staff for training” – the head of DAFOOS claims. He adds that officers from Oman, Pakistan and Syria are currently taking training courses in DAFOOS, while Iranian officers are being trained in China, Pakistan and Oman.
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    Militarov

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  Militarov on Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:18 pm

    "Hundreds of Iranian soldiers have been sent to Syria to to help Russia defend the al-Assad government, according to the Israeli media. Ynetnews, the English-language Israeli news website of Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most-read newspaper, reports that Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, is cooperating with Russia. An Israeli military source told Ynet Iran’s stepped up military involvement in Syria is “due to Assad’s crisis and under Russian-Iranian cooperation as a result of a meeting between Soleimani with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

    The claim has not been independently verified." Source: http://www.infowars.com/israelis-report-hundreds-of-iranian-soldiers-join-russian-effort-in-syria/

    Same those Ynetnews that claimed Russian Mig31s landed in Syria few weeks ago.

    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:52 pm

    Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA

    Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government, Lebanese sources said on Thursday, a sign the civil war is turning still more regional and global in scope.

    Russian warplanes, in a second day of strikes, bombed a camp run by rebels trained by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the group's commander said, putting Moscow and Washington on opposing sides in a Middle East conflict for the first time since the Cold War.

    Senior U.S. and Russian officials spoke for just over an hour by secure video conference on Thursday, focusing on ways to keep air crews safe, the Pentagon said, as the two militaries carry out parallel campaigns with competing objectives.

    "We made crystal clear that, at a minimum, the priority here should be the safe operation of the air crews over Syria," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

    Two Lebanese sources told Reuters hundreds of Iranian troops had reached Syria in the past 10 days with weapons to mount a major ground offensive. They would also be backed by Assad's Lebanese Hezbollah allies and by Shi'ite militia fighters from Iraq, while Russia would provide air support.

    "The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria -soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisers ... we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more," one of the sources said.

    So far, direct Iranian military support for Assad has come mostly in the form of military advisers. Iran has also mobilized Shi'ite militia fighters, including Iraqis and some Afghans, to fight alongside Syrian government forces.

    Moscow said it had hit Islamic State positions, but the areas it struck near the cities of Hama and Homs are mostly held by a rival insurgent alliance, which unlike Islamic State is supported by U.S. allies including Arab states and Turkey.

    Hassan Haj Ali, head of the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal rebel group that is part of the Free Syrian Army, told Reuters one of the targets was his group's base in Idlib province, struck by about 20 missiles in two separate raids. His fighters had been trained by the CIA in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, part of a program Washington says is aimed at supporting groups that oppose both Islamic State and Assad.

    "Russia is challenging everyone and saying there is no alternative to Bashar," Haj Ali said. He said the Russian jets had been identified by members of his group who once served as Syrian air force pilots.

    The group is one of at least three foreign-backed FSA rebel factions to say they had been hit by the Russians in the last two days.

    At the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference Moscow was targeting Islamic State. He did not specifically deny that Russian planes had attacked Free Syrian Army facilities but said Russia did not view it as a terrorist group and viewed it as part of a political solution in Syria.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/02/us-mideast-crisis-russia-syria-idUSKCN0RV41O20151002

    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:55 pm


    Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources

    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad answers questions during an interview with al-Manar's journalist Amro Nassef, in Damascus, Syria, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA on August 25, 2015. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters
    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad answers questions during an interview with al-Manar's

    Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes, two Lebanese sources told Reuters.

    "The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies," said one of the sources familiar with political and military developments in the conflict.

    "It is possible that the coming land operations will be focused in the Idlib and Hama countryside," the source added.

    The two sources said the operation would be aimed at recapturing territory lost by President Bashar al-Assad's government to rebels.


    It points to an emerging military alliance between Russia and Assad's other main allies - Iran and Hezbollah - focused on recapturing areas of northwestern Syria that were seized by insurgents in rapid advances earlier this year.

    "The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisors ... we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more," the second source said. Iraqis would also take part in the operation, the source said.

    Thus far, direct Iranian military support for Assad has come mostly in the form of military advisors. Iran has also mobilized Shi'ite militia fighters, including Iraqis and some Afghans, to fight alongside Syrian government forces.

    Lebanon's Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, has been fighting alongside the Syrian army since early in the conflict.


    The Russian air force began air strikes in Syria on Wednesday, targeting areas near the cities of Homs and Hama in the west of the country, where Assad's forces are fighting an array of insurgent groups, though not Islamic State, which is based mostly in the north and east.

    An alliance of insurgent groups including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and powerful Ahrar al-Sham made rapid gains in Idlib province earlier this year, completely expelling the government from the area bordering Turkey.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/01/us-mideast-crisis-syria-iranians-exclusi-idUSKCN0RV4DN20151001

    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:41 pm

    How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani (L) stands at the frontline during offensive operations against Islamic State militants in the town of Tal Ksaiba in Salahuddin province March 8, 2015.
    REUTERS/STRINGER

    At a meeting in Moscow in July, a top Iranian general unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory - with Russia's help.

    Major General Qassem Soleimani's visit to Moscow was the first step in planning for a Russian military intervention that has reshaped the Syrian war and forged a new Iranian-Russian alliance in support of Assad.

    As Russian warplanes bomb rebels from above, the arrival of Iranian special forces for ground operations underscores several months of planning between Assad's two most important allies, driven by panic at rapid insurgent gains.


    Soleimani is the commander of the Quds Force, the elite extra-territorial special forces arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, and reports directly to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Senior regional sources say he has already been overseeing ground operations against insurgents in Syria and is now at the heart of planning for the new Russian- and Iranian-backed offensive.

    That expands his regional role as the battlefield commander who has also steered the fight in neighboring Iraq by Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia against Islamic State.

    His Moscow meeting outlined the deteriorating situation in Syria, where rebel advances toward the coast were posing a danger to the heartland of Assad's Alawite sect, whereRussia maintains its only Mediterranean naval base in Tartous.

    "Soleimani put the map of Syria on the table. The Russians were very alarmed, and felt matters were in steep decline and that there were real dangers to the regime. The Iranians assured them there is still the possibility to reclaim the initiative," a senior regional official said. "At that time, Soleimani played a role in assuring them that we haven't lost all the cards."



    "SEND SOLEIMANI"

    Three senior officials in the region say Soleimani's July trip was preceded by high-level Russian-Iranian contacts that produced political agreement on the need to pump in new support for Assad as his losses accelerated.

    Their accounts suggest planning for the intervention began to germinate several months earlier. It means Tehran and Moscow had been discussing ways to prop up Assad by force even as Western officials were describing what they believed was new flexibility in Moscow's stance on his future.

    Before the latest moves, Iran had aided Assad militarily by mobilizing Shi'ite militias to fight alongside the Syrian army, and dispatching Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps officers as advisors. A number of them have been killed.

    Russia, an ally of Damascus since the Cold War, had supplied weapons to the Syrian army and shielded Damascus diplomatically from Western attempts to sanction Assad at theUnited Nations.

    Their support did not prevent rebels - some of them backed by Assad's regional foes - from reducing Assad's control of Syria to around one fifth of its territory in a four-year-long war estimated to have killed 250,000 people.

    The decision for a joint Iranian-Russian military effort in Syria was taken at a meeting between Russia's foreign minister and Khamenei a few months ago, said a senior official of a country in the region, involved in security matters.

    "Soleimani, assigned by Khamenei to run the Iranian side of the operation, traveled to Moscow to discuss details. And he also traveled to Syria several times since then," the official said.

    The Russian government says its Syria deployment came as the result of a formal request from Assad, who himself laid out the problems facing the Syrian military in stark terms in July, saying it faced a manpower problem.

    Khamenei also sent a senior envoy to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin, another senior regional official said. "Putin told him 'Okay we will intervene. Send Qassem Soleimani'. He went to explain the map of the theater."


    RESIDENT IN DAMASCUS

    Russian warplanes, deployed at an airfield in Latakia, began mounting air strikes against rebels in Syria last week.

    Moscow says it is targeting Islamic State, but many of Russia's air strikes have hit other insurgents, including groups backed by Assad's foreign enemies, notably in the northwest where rebels seized strategically important towns including Jisr al-Shughour earlier this year.

    In the biggest deployment of Iranian forces yet, sources told Reuters last week that hundreds of troops have arrived since late September to take part in a major ground offensive planned in the west and northwest.

    Around 3,000 fighters from the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah have also mobilized for the battle, along with Syrian army troops, said one of the senior regional sources.

    The military intervention in Syria is set out in an agreement between Moscow and Tehran that says Russian air strikes will support ground operations by Iranian, Syrian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces, said one of the senior regional sources.

    The agreement also included the provision of more sophisticated Russian weapons to the Syrian army, and the establishment of joint operations rooms that would bring those allies together, along with the government of Iraq, which is allied both to Iran and the United States.

    One of the operations rooms is in Damascus and another is in Baghdad.

    "Soleimani is almost resident in Damascus, or let's say he goes there a lot and you can find him between meetings with President Assad and visits to the theater of operations like any other soldier," said one of the senior regional officials.

    Syria's foreign minister said on Monday that the Russian air strikes had been planned for months.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/06/us-mideast-crisis-syria-soleimani-insigh-idUSKCN0S02BV20151006
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    George1

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  George1 on Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:51 pm



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    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:16 pm

    Rouhani extends condolences over IRGC commander killing in Syria



    Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has offered his condolences on the killing of Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), by terrorist groups in Syria.

    In a message on Friday, Rouhani said the killing of the brave IRGC commander during an advisory mission to help strengthen the resistance movement in the fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group and its allies was “a big loss and caused deep grief.”

    The Iranian president said Hamedani played a leading role in establishing the IRGC and successfully commanding different operations during eight years of sacred defense against the Iraqi invasion in the 1980s.

    Rouhani extended his condolences to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Armed Forces, particularly the IRGC forces, and to all Iranians.

    The IRGC announced in a statement carried by Sepah News on Friday that Hamedani had been killed by Takfiri Daesh terrorists during an advisory mission on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo the night before.

    Other Iranian officials' reactions

    In a Friday message, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Hamedani’s killing by the Takfiri terrorists was a great loss, calling on the international community to prioritize the urgency to fight terrorism.

    IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari also praised the deceased for his role in the resistance against the US and the Israeli regime.

    He said Hamedani was killed by the mercenaries of the US and the Israeli regime in the region who are supported by certain countries including Saudi Arabia, and are killing the Muslim people of Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Bahrain.

    In his message, Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the killing of the IRGC commander would undoubtedly ramp up determination of the resistance front to eradicate terrorism.

    Meanwhile, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said the killing of the Iranian commander will only speed up the eradication of Daesh.

    Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, said Hamedani played a key role in improving regional and international security and fighting terrorism.

    In separate messages, Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani and Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei also expressed their condolences over Hamedani’s death.

    The Syrian military has been fighting the terrorist groups for over four years. Iran has been offering Syria military advice in its fight against terrorist groups.

    http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/1...ommander-Syria-Major-General-Hossein-Hamedani

    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:25 pm

    URGENT: Another Iranian General, 7 Other IRGC Members Killed in Syria

    Brigadier General Reza Khavari, the senior commander of IRGC's Fatemiyoun Division, was martyred in clashes with terrorists in the Northern parts of the province of Hama, Central Syria, Thursday night while fulfilling his duty as a military adviser.

    A sum of 7 other IRGC members, mostly from Ansar Corps, have been martyred in Syria in the last two days. Amin Karimi, a member of the IRGC's Ansar Corps, has also been named among those killed in the last couple of days, although his military rank is not known.

    IRGC Public Relations Chief General Ramezan Sharif told FNA on Friday evening that the IRGC has boosted the number of its advisors in Syria in recent days following government troops' striking victories in multiple fronts across the nation.

    Ramezan Sharif confirmed the 8 casualties sustained by the IRGC in Syria in the last several days.

    Asked why the IRGC casualties in Syria are mostly ranking officers, he said Iran does not have combat troops in Syria and has only sent advisors to help syria, who provide counseling services and strategies to the Syrian army commanders in the battlefield and from a very close range to the forefront. He reminded that low-ranking officers are not fit for such a vital job.

    Earlier today it was revealed that the bodyguard of Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been one of the latest IRGC casualties in in Syria.

    Abdollah Baqeri Niyaraki was martyred while fulfilling his duty as military advisor in Syria's Northern province of Aleppo.

    Baqeri Niyaraki was an IRGC commander who served as a bodyguard of former President Ahmadinejad for some time. Niyaraki was a member of IRGC's Ansar Corps.

    His martyrdom came after three other IRGC war veteran commanders were killed during attacks by the ISIL terrorists in Syria.

    On October 13, two IRGC commanders, providing military counseling services to the Syrian forces in their fight against the terrorists, were killed in Southern Syria.

    Colonel Farshad Hasounizadeh, the former commander of IRGC's Saberin Special Brigade, was martyred while fulfilling his duty as military adviser in Syria and fighting the terrorists in syria.

    Also, the former commander of IRGC Hazrat Hojjat 1 Brigade Hajj Hamid Mokhtar-band , was killed in Syria.

    Both Hasounizadeh and Mokhtar-band were IRGC war veterans and were martyred in Southern Syria. According to Iran's military rules, those missed or killed in operation are promoted to a higher rank and that's why in a few Persian-language sources, Colonel Hasounizadeh has been referred to as a General.

    A few days earlier, a top IRGC commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani was martyred during an attack by the ISIL terrorists in the outskirts of the city of Aleppo.

    General Hamadani was in Syria to render military advice to the Syrian army and popular forces in their fight against the ISIL terrorists in the Arab country.

    In September 2014, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Gholam Ali Rashid announced that Iran's military advisors are present in the friendly regional states to provide those nations with necessary military recommendations.

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940801000462

    ShahryarHedayatiSHBA

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    Iranian Shahed-129 firing missiles against rebels in Syria

    Post  ShahryarHedayatiSHBA on Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:20 am

    Iranian Shahed-129 firing missiles against rebels in Syria


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    max steel

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  max steel on Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:38 pm

    Iranian UAV shown striking targets in Syria and Iraq

    Iran appears to have conducted strike missions over Syria and Iraq using its Shahed-129 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), according to footage released by national media on 2 February.

    A news report filed by media channel SimaNews shows at least two armed Shahed-129 UAVs being demonstrated at an undisclosed airfield, presumably in Iran, as well as electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) imagery taken from the UAV's weapon systems purportedly showing them striking vehicles and other targets in Syria and on Iran's 'western borders'. At least some of the strike footage is from October 2015, as shown by a date stamp on the weapon system EO/IR imagery, while latitude and longitude co-ordinates also shown correspond to Aleppo province, Syria.

    Both UAVs are shown in the report equipped with twin underwing hardpoints. They appear to be carrying Sadid-1 tube-launched air-to-surface missiles that have been modified into glide bombs specifically for use on the Shahed-129, given that they are not stowed on the launch rails that would normally be used for missiles. At least two seekers types are present, most likely imaging infrared (IIR) and charge-coupled device television (CCDTV). The Sadid-1 shares features that are common to US BGM-71 TOW, Denel Dynamics Ingwe, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) HJ-12 (Red Arrow 12), and Rafael Spike LR.

    IHS Jane's reported in April 2014 that the Shahed-129 was believed to be operating over the Syrian capital of Damascus, following the publication of images of a UAV flying over the city that had a very similar V-tail and straight-wing configuration as the Iranian aircraft. At that time, the UAV was believed to be conducting surveillance mission and was not seen to be armed.

    First revealed by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in September 2012, the single-engined propeller-driven Shahed-129 is billed as being Iran's most sophisticated UAV, with an endurance of 24 hours and a range of 2,000 km.







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    crod

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    Iran's aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  crod on Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:49 am

    Discussion topic
    Has Iran’s involvement in Syria and Iraq been positive or negative for Iran?
    Losses v Combat Experience

    yavar

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  yavar on Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:36 am

    Iran Army Ground forces reconnaissance monitoring combating ISIS on borders مبارزه ارتش با داعش


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    George1

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  George1 on Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:59 am

    Iranian missile strikes against targets in Syria

    Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said it had launched medium-range missiles at IG fighter positions in Deir ez Zor. It is stated that this is the response to the recent terrorist attacks that the terrorists of the IG carried out in Tehran. The launches are made from the missile bases of the Aerospace Forces of the IRGC in the Iranian provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshah in the west of the country.

    Https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/03/28/1440202/ سیلی-محکم-موشکی-ایران-به-تروریست-ها-در-سوریه-سپاه-انتقام-گرفت

    It is interesting the missiles that were used. In principle, the distance from these two Iranian provinces to Deir-ez-Zore itself is on the order of 600-700 km, for the SDBM it is far from the maximum range, although they could also be targeted not only in the area of ​​the city, but in general in the provinces.

    P.S.: And it's because one of the videos is clearly solid-fuel rockets, very similar to the launch of "Zolfagar", which was shown only last year. They had a range of 700 km, which is suitable for impact. Although it is possible that different types of missiles could be launched, it is even more likely that they were launched from different bases.








    http://bmpd.livejournal.com/2677629.html


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    yavar

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  yavar on Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:13 am

    Iran IRGC missile strike Dayr al-Zawr Syria terrorist HQ حمله موشک سپاه به تروریست‌ها دیرالزور سوریه


    JohninMK

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  JohninMK on Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:28 am

    Interesting that they chose a night strike.
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    George1

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    Re: Iran's Military aid to Syria and Iraq against ISIS

    Post  George1 on Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:48 am











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