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article imageOp-Ed: Iranian Revolutionary Guard-Quds Force in Syria

By Eliot Elwar     Jun 5, 2012 in World
Iran admits the Iranian Revolutionary Guard-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) presence in Syria. IRGC-QF has been conducting covert operations in Syria months before the Mideast revolutions began.
According to International Business Times, the only surprising thing about IRGC-QF backing of the Assad regime in Syria is that Revolutionary Guard General Ismail Qa'ani has admitted publicly about IRGC-QF operations in the Mideast. IRGC-QF has been training Syrian soldiers for months before the uprising began because of Teheran's interest in the Assad government. This means their relationship could only be made stronger by the long rebellion.
Qa'ani has revealed what the IRGC-QF is doing in Syria. According to some accounts, the Quds have been in Syria since January 2011, when Assad's forces clashed with rebels in the battle of Zabadani. During that time, the rebel army, the primary armed resistance against the Assad regime, was in control of the city and equipped to defend it from Assad’s army forces. Since Zabadani is strategically significant for both Syria and Iran due to its proximity to Lebanon, less than 10 miles from the border, Assad's generals called in the IRGC-QF along with the Lebanon-based Shiite movement Hezbollah, for assistance, according to International Business Times.
Analysis
The degree of Iran's engagement in Syria is hazy. Thus far, Qa'ani's public statements are the closest thing to any official validation of the IRGC-QF’s presence in the region. The coalition between Syria and Iran is only convenient; Iran will stand by Syria to keep Assad in power, while Syria will provide a regional counterbalance to Israel and America, which are Iran's great adversaries.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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