A senior Revolutionary Guard commander has confirmed Iran’s military support for the regime of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria. General Mohammed Eskandari said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has trained and prepared 42 brigades and 138 battalions to fight in Syria. He has urged Iranians to donate freely to support the Syrian regime because the war in Syria is, “in fact”, Iran’s war against the United States.
Eskandari’s remarks followed similar statements by the leader of the IRGC, Hussein Hamadani, who revealed last week during a ceremony to announce the establishment of the Syrian Hezbollah Party that the troops prepared to fight in Syria alongside the regime’s army includes Sunni and Shia elements.
The IRGC has organised donation campaigns across Iran to support the Syrian regime. General Eskandari said that the donations committee will collect money and non-monetary aid to send to Syria.
A deputy commander of the corps, Majeed Mazaheri, said that Syria and Lebanon are Iran’s front lines and that Iran’s support for its allies in the two countries is a legitimate duty. “We should support the Syrian people because Syria supported us during the Iran-Iraq war,” he insisted. “If we stop supporting our front lines, the enemy will arrive at our borders.”
Observers believe that the massive financial and military aid provided by Tehran to its ally in Damascus has placed a huge burden on the Iranian economy which is already collapsing due to sanctions imposed over the government’s nuclear programme. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, stressed recently that his country will not reconsider its position on the nuclear file and called on the Iranian people to pursue an austerity policy.