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Report – Iran Sends Military Official to Aid Syria's Assad

Report – Iran Sends Military Official to Aid Syria's Assad

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From Haaretz :

A top Iranian military official is actively aiding the regime of  Syrian President Bashar Assad in suppressing popular unrest throughout  the country, a top member of the National Syrian Council said on Monday.

According to the Syrian official, Kassam  Salimani, commander of the Quds Force, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard  special forces unit, has arrived in Syria recently and has taken up a  spot in the war room which manages army maneuvers against opposition  forces.

The war room is also reportedly populated by Assad himself, as well  as his brother Maher, brother-in-law Assaf Shaukat and cousin Rami  Makhlouf, with the Syrian chief of staff’s authority reportedly  restricted and divided up between other military commanders.

The Quds Force includes 15,000 elite  soldiers who operated, among other locations, in Iraq during the war,  and the specialty of which is engaging in unconventional warfare on  foreign soil. Among other duties, the Quds Force is in charge of traning  and funding Hezbollah.

Salimani’s presence in Syria serves as an  indication of the kind of battle that Assad is planning against  opposition forces, with the Syrian army reportedly planning to wage all  out war against the rebel city of Homs.

According to the report, the Syrian  president’s goal is to gain ground ahead of a planned visit by Russian  Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who will be arriving in the country  along with a military delegation which includes the head of Russian  intelligence.

Assad’s aim, sources say, is to display his  control of the situation and his ability to suppress the unrest, with  the determining battles to be staged in Homs and in the reoccupation of  the town of Zabadani, which fell to Free Syria Army forces.

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