Iran’s Growing Intervention in Syria and the Region (February 14-28, 2016)
By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Sunday, February 28th, 2016 @ 11:31PM
Left: Iranian forces in Syria
Amidst rumors that Iran is withdrawing its forces from Syria, Debka File reported that “Under cover of the Syrian ceasefire that went into effect Saturday, Feb. 27, and the Russian air umbrella, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps finally managed to secretly install hundreds of armed Palestinian terrorists on the Syrian-Israeli border face-to-face with the IDF’s Golan positions.” Once again, events on the ground contradict Secretary John Kerry’s claim that Iran involvement in Syria is diminishing. “The IRGC has actually pulled its troops back from Syria. Ayatollah Khamenei pulled a significant number of troops out. Their presence is actually reduced in Syria,” Kerry told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last week.
Apparently, Kerry missed or ignored the statement made Mohammad Pakpour, the commander of the IRGC ground forces earlier this month, confirming that units from its Saberin special forces brigade had been deployed in Syria and Iraq.
Al-Sabirin, is a new terrorist organization that the IRGC and Hizballah “are building in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.” Debka describes how their agents clandestinely recruited new terrorists from among young Palestinians who fled the Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus and sought refuge in Lebanon. Hizballah organized their return to Syria through south Lebanon – but not before training and arming them for penetration deep inside Israel to carry out mass-casualty assaults on IDF positions, highways and civilians.”
The recruitment of Palestinians to fight along the IRGC and Hizballah forces together with the announcement that Teheran will reward of “$7000 to the family of every Palestinian shaheed killed in the Jerusalem intifada, and $30,000 to every family whose house had been razed by Israel, helps to increase Iran’s influence among Palestinians everywhere.
According to ITIC Spotlight on Iran, on February 23, Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, met with the families of IRGC fighters who had been killed in Syria. He talked about his presence in Lebanon with senior Hezbollah officials during Second Lebanon War (2006). He said he had returned to Tehran after the first week of the war and met with Ali Larijani, at the time the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (today chairman of the Majlis, the Iranian parliament), and that they had gone together to the city of Mashad and met with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. During the meeting, said Soleimani, they received instructions from Khamenei that changed the outcome of the war. He did not reveal what the instructions were (ISNA, February 23, 2016).”
To read the full report on Iran’s activities in the Middle East, see the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center