The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have reported that the Iranian regime has secret bases in Syria. The Spanish-language digital newspaper, El Confidencial, published an article on 1st October with details about the role of the Iranian regime in Syrian conflict.
They said that if Iran was not supporting the Syrian President, Assad would have been expelled a long time ago. In fact, the role of the Iranian regime in Syria is more important than initially thought. It is believed that Iranian officers control military operations and that there are far more Iranian troops than Assad’s own.
Shahin Ghobadi of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NCRI said that Iran is funding the war in Syria. And Iran has the funds because of the money that was unfrozen following the nuclear deal.
The NCRI say that Iran is divided into five military regions. From the headquarters, Iranian forces can control the arrival of supplies from Iran and can quickly evacuate if insurgents took the capital. Foreign fighters take orders from Iranian Revolutionary Guards, not Syrian generals. Gobadi points out that Iran’s role in Syria is significant – Iran is basically leading and controlling the war.
The information provided by the NCRI can be trusted. It has been confirmed by multiple reliable sources through a network of informers. The NCRI are no strangers to uncovering information about the regime’s activities. In 2002, they revealed the existence of nuclear facilities in the country, marking the beginning of the nuclear program crisis.
“They are trying by all means to keep alive the Shiite axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon and are throwing the rest. In fact everyday Iranian military are fighting alongside the Syrian army and Hezbollah,” said a military intelligence and security expert consulted by El Confidencial. He adds that the exact figures are not known, but consistent with expectations.
Colonel Pedro Banos, an expert in geostrategy has been observing the conflict in Syria in detail from the beginning. He said: “The news reaching us is that hardly there is a day that a senior colonel or general does not die in the Syrian front, and when top officials are killed obviously there are also lower – ranking troops. There is also talk of an airlift established to nurture Shiite fighters and Assad’s forces. So all this would come within the framework of the logic of what is developing in the Syrian-Iraqi conflict.”
One of the most impressive statements is that Iranian troops outnumber Assad’s army. The NCRI estimate that in Syria there are “between 8,000 and 10,000 members of the Revolutionary Guards and between 5,000 and 6,000 Iranian regular troops, from 7,000 to 10,000 members of Hezbollah, and between 40,000 and 47,000 additional militants from other countries are fighting which, even in the smallest cases, it gives a minimum of 60,000 combatants”.
It is also said that the Syrian army does not fight – it is the Iranian forces that carry the weight of the combat. The Syrians play the role of guide. Assad’s army apparently exists to “collect bribes and terrorize the local population”.
“Assad’s generals do not believe their troops could bring order to the country without foreign military aid. They do not plan large-scale operations, there is a lack of ammunition and modern equipment, and the fear of suffering large losses and a negative result of this fight.”
It is clear that the war in Syria is important to Iran because of the level of participation of the Revolutionary Guards. There is a religious motivation – the defense of Shiism, but it must also be remembered that during the war between Iran and Iraq, Syria was the only country to support Iran.
Banos said: “Think that today clashes between powers are not carried out directly, but through interposed many actors. In this case there is a confrontation between the major regional Gulf powers, Saudi Arabia on the one hand and Iran on the other, a struggle for power, but also predominating one of the two major branches of Islam.”
Gobadi believes that it is more than just a regional strategy issue. He said: “The Iranian regime sees his present prominence is largely based on the survival of Assad. In February, [Ayatollah] Ali Khamenei said: ‘If we do not fight in the cities of Syria will have to fight against the opposition in our cities’. This proves the importance they attach to this conflict. This is much higher for Iran than mere regional politics. They believe that if they withdraw, they will see their own fall very quickly.”