MESOP Syria Feature: The Iranians Volunteering for the War

May 15 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview –  As Iran sharply escalates its involvement in Syria’s civil war, Kristin Dailey writes for Foreign Policy about some of the men volunteering for the battles:

When 59-year-old Asghar Abyari learned that his son Abbas would soon head off to war in Syria in late December 2015, he was furious. But not for the reason one might expect.Since November, Asghar and Abbas, 24, both members of Iran’s voluntary Basij militia, had been undergoing military training in hopes of joining Tehran’s advisory mission to support Syria.

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MESOP TODAYS OPINION BY Amir TAHERI (ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

Opinion: Iran’s New Map of Funerals –  One of Iran’s chief features has always been the existence of several hundred small and medium towns each with its distinct characteristics and long history.

For example, imagine you are in Aqda, on the edge of the Lut Desert; you know that you cannot be anywhere else in universe. It is like nowhere else, and nowhere else is like it. Located in a cluster of pomegranate and quince orchards it is an earthly paradise. These human-sized towns are out of the turmoil of national life and seldom, if ever, in news headlines.In the past few weeks, however, many of them have reappeared on the map of national information, reminding everyone of their existence. Sadly, the reason for this reappearance is tragic, the drip by drip death, or “martyrdom” as official propaganda puts it, of Iranians sent to fight in Syria’s seemingly endless war. A new map of Iran emerges of an archipelago of small towns connected by a chain of funerals.

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MESOP : FUNERAL EVENTS IN TEHRAN / THE IRGC MORPHS INTO AN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

PolicyWatch 2615 – May 12, 2016 – By Ali Alfoneh –  Ali Alfoneh is the author of “Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards Is Turning Theocracy into Military Dictatorship” (AEI Press, 2013).

Funeral notices indicate that Iran has increased its use of IRGC Ground Forces in Syria to offset mounting losses by the elite Qods Force, and this pattern could signal a wider transformation in how the IRGC operates abroad.

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MESOP TODAYS OPINION: Why is Congress keeping its powder dry on Iran sanctions?

EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) – Author: Julian Pecquet – May 12, 2016 – AL MONITOR

Congress hasn’t managed to pass a single Iran-related bill since the nuclear deal went into effect last year, but that doesn’t mean its supporters can breathe easy. Behind the scenes, lawmakers in both chambers and both parties have been working together on comprehensive legislation that will seek to punish Iran for its human-rights abuses, ballistic missile tests and other activities. That strategy could help explain why a bill to renew sanctions on Iran’s energy sector that expires at the end of the year has been bottled up in the Senate banking panel for the past 11 months despite bipartisan support for its passage.

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MESOP : IRAN’S LOSSES IN SYRIA – IRGC, allies sustained significant losses in battle for Khan Touman

11 May 2016 08:23 AM PDT – Long War Journal – On May 6, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps lost the strategic village of Khan Touman to Jaysh al Fath, suffering its worse defeat yet in the Syrian war. Iranian officials and commanders alongside state outlets have publicly downplayed the loss and have vowed revenge to retake the town. They also level accusations that the West and its regional allies support “terrorists” who take advantage of ceasefires.   http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/05/irgc-allies-sustained-significant-losses-in-battle-for-khan-touman.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LongWarJournalSiteWide+%28The+Long+War+Journal+%28Site-Wide%29%29

MESOP : AFTER GETTING BLOODY NOSES ! – Revolutionary Guards Withdraw Division From Syria After Defeat and Deaths

May 11 – 2016 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – A retired Revolutionary Guards general has said that Iran has lost more than 1,200 troops in the Syrian conflict since 2012.In comments to the Iranian Students News Agency, Abdullah al-Tabrizi also indicated that the Islamic Republic should pull back from its escalation in Syria and focus on the battle in Iraq against the Islamic State: “I did not fight Daesh in Syrian territory. We will have to fight on the borders of Kurdistan.”

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Iran Daily: Facing Losses in Syria, Revolutionary Guards Turn to Propaganda

EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) – May 09 – 2016 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Facing defeats and casualties in Syria’s civil war, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps turned to propaganda on Sunday to present “victory” to audiences at home and abroad.For the first time, the Revolutionary Guards acknowledged significant losses last week.

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MESOP : PKK = KURDISH COLLABORATORS OF THE MULLAHS – Eight Iranian forces killed, 60 wounded in Kurdish attack

May 8, 2016 – ARA News /  ERBIL ــ The Peshmerga of Iranian Kurdistan [a Kurdish rebel group active in Iran’s northwest] started on Wednesday an armed campaign against key positions for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in several villages in the vicinity of the mainly Kurdish city of Sardasht north-west of the country, informed sources reported.The Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iran attacked headquarters of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the villages of Hamran, Myouni, and Sartaja [administratively linked to the township of Sardasht]. The Iranian forces received additional military reinforcements to the region in a bid to face the unexpected fierce offensive by the Kurdish rebel group.

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Analyst: Iranian Kurdish groups can bring war to the cities, but need unity

MESOP TODAYS COMMENTARY : BLOCKED BY PUK & PKK

By Rudaw /  7 May 2016 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region –A Kurdish Political analyst believes that Iranian Kurdish political parties will be changing the course of their military struggle in Eastern Kurdistan from offensive to defensive and adopt new approaches to bringing their fight to the cities after two decades of unilateral ceasefire since the mid-1990s.

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MESOP TODAYS RECOMMENDATION Aymenn J Al-Tamimi hat Thomas Joscelyn retweetet

 

An issue worthy of much more attention amid the controversy over the profile of Ben Rhodes & promotion of Iran dealhttps://twitter.com/thomasjoscelyn/status/728936921498583041 …

Aymenn J Al-Tamimi hat hinzugefügt,

Thomas Joscelyn @thomasjoscelyn

Obama administration set a narrative on AQ/jihadism/ISIS. A lot of people followed without questioning. That narrative was & is wrong

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