US military experts have apparently told Fox News that additional Iranian forces had arrived in Syria in advance of a ground operation supported by Russian airstrikes in the country, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported on Friday. The experts did not reveal the numbers of the forces involved.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported Lebanese sources on Thursday saying that hundreds of Iranian troops had been heading to the Syrian border for the past ten days. They said that these troops are preparing to take part in a ground operation in the north of the country. Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia is also preparing to take part in the operation, it was claimed.
The sources said that the ground operation is to be carried out by Syrian government troops supported by the Iranians and Hezbollah, with air cover provided by the Russians.
According to Russian Interfax news agency, however, an Iranian diplomatic source in Moscow insisted that Tehran has no need to send troops to Syria, but added that there are Iranian military advisers already in the country.
This news came just days after the start of Russian airstrikes in different parts of Syria. The Syrian opposition said that the Russians targeted its positions, although observers claim that the Russians have also hit Daesh/ISIS targets in Al-Raqqa in the north of Syria.