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.”

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are withdrawing elements of a division from Syria after it suffered heavy losses in a defeat by rebels south of Aleppo last week.A spokesman for the 25th Karbala Division, based in Mazandaran in northern Iran, announced the withdrawal after the Guards’ official declaration of 13 dead and 21 wounded in last Friday’s sudden advance by rebels and the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra. He said 12 bodies are still “in the hands of the takfiris”. The spokesman did not confirm a claim by a leading Iranian MP that “five or six” soldiers were also captured.The defeat was the second blow suffered on the southern Aleppo Front in six weeks by Iran, as it sharply escalates its involvement on the ground in Syria’s conflict. At the start of April, Iranian forces and Iranian-led foreign militias suffered more than 100 casualties as they tried to retake another town on the Aleppo-to-Damascus highway, al-Eis, which had been claimed by rebels.

However, the Revolutionary Guards did not acknowledge their losses from that defeat. Last weekend’s admission of the Khan Tuman deaths was their first admission of multiple casualties in any Syrian battle.Iranian media have reported the deaths of more than 250 commanders and troops since Tehran put in ground troops last October for offensives enabled by Russian airstrikes and accompanied by Hezbollah and Iraqi and Afghan militias. A large number of Iraqis and Afghans have also been killed, but the Islamic Republic has not given any numbers.The deputy commander of the Guards, General Hossein Salami, tried to play down the latest defeat on Tuesday, while proclaiming that it would soon be reversed:  The situation in Khan Tuman is a tactical change and development and doesn’t have any strategic effect on the entire battlefield….We consider the Syrian government as a part of the resistance front and we are in full control of the situation.