A senior Iranian military commander has threatened further wars of conquest after describing the recent collapse of the Syrian opposition in Aleppo as an "Islamic conquest", as footage has appeared showing Syrian refugees attempting to evacuate the ravaged city being shot at by Iran-backed Shia jihadists.
In comments to local Iranian media, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Hossein Salami said: "It is now time for the Islamic conquests. After the liberation of Aleppo, Bahrain's hopes will be realised and Yemen will be happy with the defeat of the enemies of Islam."
The IRGC commander also said that "the people of Mosul will taste the taste of victory," in reference to the ongoing Mosul operations.
The taste of "victory", however, tasted of blood and terror in Aleppo as the Middle East correspondent for BuzzFeed News tweeted footage of what pro-Assad regime Iranian proxies were doing there.
This is what hell on earth looks like: hungry, freezing men, women and children flee as men with guns open fire in ruins of Aleppo, Syria pic.twitter.com/zgCJQZUvYL
— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) December 16, 2016
Borzou Daragahi tweeted "This is what hell on earth looks like," as video footage from the devastated city shows "hungry, freezing men, women and children" who are trying to evacuate Aleppo are fired upon by the Shia jihadists.
This footage was supported by further reports and footage from Syrian journalist Rami Jarrah. Jarrah's footage shows witnesses recounting their stories of how their convoy that was travelling with the Red Cross was waylaid by the Assad regime.
— Rami Jarrah (@RamiJarrah) December 16, 2016
As the men in the video are talking, they and a vast convoy of cars come under attack by Assad regime, creating panic as people try to escape.
Iran's 'empire' and 'Shia Liberation Army'
Salami's comments are not the first to emerge from within influential and powerful Iranian official circles.
In March 2015, Presidential Advisor Ali Younesi said that the Iraqi capital of Baghdad was now a "capital of the Iranian empire," inflaming the Arab world and especially Iraqis who have felt Iran's pervading and dominating influence in their country.
Last November, Iranian army Chief of Staff General Mohammed Bagheri said that his country would in all likelihood set up military bases in Yemen, Syria and other Arab countries.
Speaking to the state-run Mashregh news agency in August, retired IRGC General Mohammad Ali Falaki said that Iran had created a "Shia Liberation Army" under the command of IRGC Qods Force commander Brigadier-General Qassem Soleimani.
According to Falaki, the Shia Liberation Army was already active on three "fronts" in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.