Fourthly, it was unprecedented that Syrian defence Minister Ali Ayyoub should have said to an official delegation and in the presence of the media (he is the commander of all armed forces after the President) that “if the US administration were able to subjugate Syria, Iran and the “Axis of the Resistance”, they would not wait for a moment”. Specialised in terrorism and counter-terrorism, intelligence, political assessments, strategic planning and thorough insight in political networks in the region. His killing in an U.S. airstrike in Iraq is likely to rattle thousands of Iranian-backed fighters in Syria. All this could not happen without the mistakes of the US administration, its blind support for Israel and the bullying of its partners. Shared answers have become even more accessible as districts have adopted or expanded their use of popular online learning programs. What is new from this visit are the many messages sent to all parties concerned: First, the signing of the military agreement is a direct message to Israel that Syria is now. Israeli intelligence reports state that Iran and Hezbollah have been “dramatically reducing” their military presence in Syria (including two-thirds of the Quds Force fighters in the country), while observers have been surprised by Hassan Nasrallah’s recent failures to even mention Syria. And to this day, Smith reports, the official line in both Tehran and within the Syrian government is that the 2011 uprising that led to the regime’s crackdown was a foreign plot. The Iranians are killing the Syrian people. He was an intelligence analyst and policy advisor in Iran from 2008 to 2010, and mostly writes about Middle East security. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. The Iranians met with a total of 93 armed elements affiliated with Iran-backed terrorist groups and pro-Assad regime militias in the province of Deir … A Russia-Israel axis would be devastating for Iran’s regional posture; encircling Hezbollah in Lebanon and projecting influence in Baghdad and beyond. At the same time, Turkish officials seek to justify their stance by stressing the need to end the Armenian occupation of Azeri lands. On Twitter: @HamidRezaAz. This is the dawn of a new, more dynamic Middle East, where – even as part of the US “soft war” – the targets of sanctions become stronger and where the victims now impose their own terms. The Sunni world claims that the fierce insistence of Iran's ruling clerics to engage actively in the Syrian crisis is driven by sectarianism rather than political strategy. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation. 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Russia discreetly condones unceasing Israeli air raids against Iran-affiliated targets (such as those that killed 14 Iranian assets last week), which have escalated in parallel with Russia’s campaign against Assad. At least 168 armed elements, including Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and foreign terrorist groups under its command, have arrived at the frontline in Syria’s northwestern Idlib. These accounts quickly met with international reactions, especially from Azerbaijan and Armenia’s neighbors. Putin could perhaps compel Assad to resign. In an excerpt from "Bitter Rivals," explore how Iran’s support for the Assad regime in Syria has helped fuel one of the most brutal wars in modern times. We would all rejoice at the ejection of the ayatollahs and Assads from Damascus. Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view. An early objective was Qusayr, a town near the Lebanese border key to supply lines with Hezbollah, then central cities and suburbs around Damascus and a top prize, Syria’s largest city, Aleppo. The Iranian IRGC officers are in Syria to stay; indeed, the relationship is robust enough to confute the wishful thinking of Israeli analysts. Iraq’s Parliament on Sunday demanded U.S. troops leave, but it is not immediately clear if the government will carry out the threat. Syria now clearly officially considers itself part of the “Axis of the Resistance”, indicating its strategic choice and telling the world that the Syrian policy moves tactically and strategically in the orbit of the “Axis of the Resistance”, a declared group enemy of Israel and the US. The Russia-Iran-Assad axis was previously mutually beneficial as they sought to reconquer much of Syria. “Syria has really been Iran’s only continuous ally since the 1979 revolution,” Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace tells Smith in the above excerpt from Bitter Rivals. “Since the beginning, we have said that this is a war against Muslim fanatics.”. Hamidreza Azizi, Ph.D., is an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. If the crisis drags on and the presence of those forces persists, the likelihood of clashes between them and local residents will grow. They’ve been Yemeni. Soleimani, at the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, brought in and organized thousands of Shiite militiamen from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to back Assad’s overstretched military, providing firepower and skills. An Iranian military delegation led by Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri met in Syria with President Bashar al-Assad and his Defence Minister Major General Ali Ayyoub to strengthen and enhance military, defensive and security cooperation between the two countries and improve Syria’s missile and defensive competences. There are several reasons for Iran to support present regime of Syria- * Iran has few allies in the Arab world and its most important one is Syria. Syria learned this lesson in 2018, when two B-1B bombers launched 19 JASSM cruise missiles as part of a 105-weapon strike against Assad’s infrastructure. The use of foreign mercenaries by regional powers also has long-term consequences. Soleimani set battlefield priorities, wresting strategic areas from opposition control one by one. That would have endangered a vital hub for Tehran: Assad’s state provided access to Iran’s most important and professional militia ally, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, gave depth and protection to its influence in Iraq and put Iranian influence on the border with Israel. Therefore, no sanctions could survive for long if Syria seriously were to threaten Israel with strikes by precision missiles at the next violation of Syrian sovereignty. “But the loss of Soleimani, the mastermind of so many victories, plans and strategies will be a big blow for Syria and Iran on a policy level and in terms of regional clout.”. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. But they’ve been Syrian.

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