February 17 – Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Iran’s regime has issued another high-profile statement over Syria’s civil war, declaring its “unflinching support” for the Assad regime.First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said, after a telephone conversation with Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi on Tuesday:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has not thought twice about its determination and will to support the resistance of the Syrian people and government in the fight against terrorist groups and under current difficult circumstances Iran will support Syria as much as it can.Jahangiri praised the success of the foreign-led regime offensive, enabled by Russian airstrikes, which has gained territory this month in northern Aleppo Province and cut off rebels between the Turkish border and Aleppo city.Iran put in more commanders and troops for the offensives, which began in October as Russia began its bombing. The Iranian military is recruiting and leading Iraqi and Afghan militias, offering money and permanent residency to Afghan immigrants who will go into battle.
Since October 7, Iranian media have acknowledged the deaths of almost 200 troops, including at least 10 commanders, with 60 killed this month.Iranian officials have denied any entry of their forces; however, in recent days the Supreme Leader has pursued a campaign to convince the public of the need for sacrifice. He has been photographed twice with relatives of slain troops, and his office have posted pictures from 1984 of Ayatollah Khamenei’s visit to the Sayyed Zainab shrine south of Damascus. Meanwhile, the Rouhani Government has declared that a political resolution in Syria cannot demand the removal of President Assad. On Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the leading backers of Syrian rebels, to avoid any direct military intervention in the crisis. www.mesop.de