MESOP FOCUS :“We Will Liberate Syria’s Aleppo”

June 02 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Iran’s Defense Minister has issued another bold declaration that, despite suffering losses in Syria, Iranian forces will help bring victory in its largest city Aleppo.

Hossein Dehghan said on Wednesday at a university conference: We are helping in Syria and Iraq as much as we can because a part of the Muslim community has been under attack and we are defending it… because Islam and Islamic lands are important to us…. Aleppo is a strategic location, and the terrorists are trying to dominate it. Ultimately, however, the occupied area of this Syrian province will be liberated by the Resistance Front [Iran, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime].

Iran has provided essential military support to the Assad regime since 2012. Following coordination with Moscow, it stepped up intervention last autumn, with ground forces and Iranian-led foreign militia accompanying Russian airstrikes in support of multiple offensives.However, Syrian rebels and the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra have inflicted losses on Iranian and Iranian-led forces this spring on the front south of Aleppo. The rebel-Nusra attacks have regained territory lost in the autumn, including the towns of al-Eis and Khan Tuman on or near the Aleppo-to-Damascus highway. The Khan Tuman loss — in which Iranian-led forces not only were removed from the town, but suffered scores of deaths in attempts to retake it — was particularly damaging. For the first time, the Revolutionary Guards admitted multiple casualties with 13 troops killed and 21 wounded.

The Iranian regime has tried to prepare the public for further intervention — following the introduction of special forces and Army units — and casualties. The Supreme Leader has had a series of photo opportunities with the families of “martyrs” and those wounded in the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts, including Afghan militia as well as Iranian soldiers. The Revolutionary Guards have stepped up their announcements that the defense of Syria is vital and that success is assured.