Iran admits to sending troops to Syria

Today Iran admitted to sending troops to Syria to help in suppressing pro-democracy demonstrations. General Ismail Kuoni, deputy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force, attempted to justify the action by claiming it saved lives. “If the Islamic Republic was not present in Syria, the massacre of civilians would have been twice as bad,” he asserted, according to Ynetnews, which saw the article before it was removed.

The general went on to imply that most civilians had been killed by Syrian rebels, not by Syrian government forces. “Iran had physically and non-physically stopped the rebels from killing many more among the Syrian people,” he said.

The statements were later removed from the website of Iran’s ISNA. A prudent move considering the fallout from the recent massacre of 90 people in the town of Houla, including 32 children, by the supporters of President Assad’s regime.

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  • adam says:

    “we are saving lives! its the rebels killing people, not the government and our troops!” meanwhile, in syria, 90 people were slaughtered by pro government forces. “um, well, (cough) we actually, uh, never admitted to going into syria (removes statement from website)” yeah, nice try Iran, you can’t hide the truth. sooner or later, all of your crimes will come to light, and when they do, your actions will lead you to your own demise.

  • mike merlo says:

    This is a cover story by the Iranians. There is obviously evidence that implicates the Iranian’s in this massacre.

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    This shows how desperate Iran is in keeping a dictator in Syria. Common bonds between them, well both Assad and the Iranian state are shia rulers. Plus both have very few democratic and human rights. Syria is becoming more of a puppet state of Iran.

  • Joe says:

    It’s always been assumed that the Iranians are going to do as much as they are able to do to sustain the Baathists in Syria. If Assad falls that pretty much leaves them in a greatly decreased strategic position. It is to be assumed that Hezbollah is helping Assad as much as they can without getting caught.
    If there is a new regime in Damascus they are certain to be hostile to both Hezbollah and Iran. It’s hard to imagine how much Hezbollah would be impacted, but it’s position both within Lebanon and in the region would be under great duress. It certainly isn’t like they have a lot of friends in this world.

  • M3fd2002 says:

    This might be a turning point. Modern
    technology makes it hard to use collective punishment as a tactic. Usually very effective. The alawites will start abandoning assad. They will start cutting deals to avoid extermination. Strategically, its a toss up. The wahabis will get first crack at power. The arab spring is turning into a sunni reserection. Not good for the west. Remember, it was 19 saudis who attacked us 911. The long war is not a misnomer. The israelis have to be puckering. Heshimites in jordan are next. Current administration has lost control of the situation. Note, i was raised in the middle east , saudi and iran, this is my two cents. Mr. Riggio, any insite would be appreciated.

  • Chris says:

    This makes it all the more puzzling why Obama hasn’t intervened yet.Apparently we can intervene in Libya where there really wasn’t a national security interest or a strategic interest(though it was noble to end genocide there) but in Syria where we can topple both a genocidal and Iranian puppet Obama prefers to sit out.”Yemen Option” being advocated for and all,which is the dumbest idea in the world for this situation.Give the SNC the arms and the air support and they will win the war just like the Northern Alliance did and the INC and Peshmerga wanted to.If you don’t…………

  • Neo says:

    I had been seeing mostly unsupported claims that both Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian Qods forces were present in Syria in large numbers. There have even been a few accounts from Iraq of Shiite irregulars crossing into Syria at the behest of the Syrian government. It appeared to be true but no one is in a position to systematically report what is going on.

  • blert says:

    That’s a great Internet nic…
    Let’s not re-write history, please.
    15 out of 19 hijackers were traveling on Saudi documents.
    This has caused essentially the entire Western Press to pronounce them Saudis.
    They were ethnic Yemenis. So too, was OBL.
    Whenever OBL wanted go-to guys he went with Yemenis. They formed his personal bodyguard.
    Only much later, would OBL permit non-Yemenis into its ranks.
    How many times to I have to post it? The first King of Saudi Arabia had a deal with the Yemeni warrior tribes that helped him in his time of need: That henceforth, they and their sons could FOREVER receive his favor — to include free right of passage across the border into his land — and TRAVEL DOCUMENTS when required UNDER HIS SEAL.
    In simple English: ANY Yemeni, at any time can walk into any Saudi diplomatic office and receive travel documents, gratis. No other two nations on Earth have this special relationship. It really is unique.
    This is why the construction trades in KSA are loaded with Yemenis — and how and why OBL’s father became a multi-billionaire building airports for the king.
    BTW, Yemenis stick out like Bostonians in Dallas. Their names and accents are glaring. ( Muslim names often include WHERE you were born or became famous: Khomeini — city of Khomein, Ahmadinejad — city of Nejad; if not that then references to your tribe. THAT’S why Yemenis stick out a country mile. )
    So get it out of your head: there were NO SAUDIS on the 9-11 ‘project.’
    In a larger sense, we’re witnessing a civil war between the Royals and the Yemeni underclass. If OBL had his way, every royal prince would be murdered. He’s gone on record time and again about it. Not surprisingly, the Royal House hates him — and really, truly wants AQ finished.
    But the Royals aren’t the only fat-cats in KSA — so the AQ crew is still able to receive funding. It all has to be on the sly — since the security services are trying to shut it, AQ, down entirely.
    So far, their sugar and stick method has been strictly hit or miss.

  • Neonmeat says:

    Iran made an oath to spread the Islamic Revolution, but they support a Baathist Party in Syria?
    Surely they should be supporting the Islamic Rebels in creating an Islamic Republic along the lines of Iran.

  • m3fd2002 says:

    My bad, 15 out the 19 were “saudi”, I think your recent history is flawed. Post first gulf war 1991, the Saudi’s forced out the majority of Yemeni and Palestinians from their territories due to their support of Saddam Hussein of Iraq. They were replaced by Egyptians for the most part, along with some Pakistanis and Indians. These people do most of the labor and menial jobs in the Kingdom. Back to topic, I’m stating the the Wahabis in Syria have traditionally opposed the Alawites. Everything is “tribal” in the Arab world. Many of the Wahabis in Syria are from the same tribes that span Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi. Iranians are a completely different ethnic/political/social people. You cannot compare them at all. Syria will not be as easy to confront as Libya, period. They are much more dangerous as a foe.

  • wallbangr says:

    @Blert: Thanks for clarifying all of that. Some good info about Saudi and Yemeni history there.

  • Will Fenwick says:

    The reason we haven’t intervened is two fold. One their would likely be significant casualties to American forces if even a no fly zone is put into place. Unlike the Libyan Air Force which was reduced to a mere dozen or so operational aircraft when the United States intervened, the Syrian air force has some 350 to 600 operational combat aircraft at its disposal. The Libyans operated mostly vastly inferior second hand ex-Yugoslav planes, while the Syrians have large numbers of third and fourth generation Russian aircraft. Syrian air defense systems are also vastly superior to Libyan systems, since they are aimed at defeating Israeli raids. The second big factor is the threat of Syrian retaliation against the Israelis. If the Assad regime feels that it is going to be wiped out, it has nothing to lose by unleashing as much hell as they can against the Israelis using their chemical weapons and ballistic missiles hoping to drag the Israelis into the conflict and rally the local population to their side.

  • Will Fenwick says:

    Blert, Ibn Saud (the first king of Saudi Arabia) was constantly fighting with the Yemeni tribes until the mid 1930’s. He fought expansionist wars against the Yemenis and tried to conquer them outright, they were in no circumstances his allies. All of the Arabic states are essentially constructs and have no ethnological basis beyond the fact that one particular tribe managed to conquer all the others in a particular area. The only exceptions would be the Omani’s who practice Ibadi islam and have been traditionally separated from the rest of the Arabs since the early days of islam. Yemen itself has practically no basis as a nation state, before the end of the British protectorate modern day Yemen consisted of no less than 28 different sultanates and emirates who bickered and fought amongst each other until subdued by the British.

  • Joe says:

    This government is trying very hard to extricate itself from Afghanistan as quickly as they are able. We are not intervening in anything which we could not obviously extricate ourselves from just as quickly. Libya under Gaddhafi hardly had a legitimate military and the regime was not well entrenched really. We weren’t exactly risking by providing air support to his opponents.
    Syria is a much more difficult problem and what happens after you get rid of Assad. Colin Powell once told the wiser Pres Bush that if he broke it he owned it. We don’t want to own Syria or more particularly Syria’s problems.

  • m3fd2002 says:

    Best case scenario from the West’s perspective (Russia Included) would be a coup (engineered by the Russians) that displaces the Assad’s. They might have to be eliminated, in order to satisfy the blood revenge culture of the Middle East. Then an internationally monitored “election”, that would ultimately place Sunnis in the driver seat. The saudi’s and turks would go along with that. If a solution isn’t found soon, it’s probably unravel like Iraq, but in reverse, with the Shia on the receiving end. There’s enough weapons and ammo in Syria to sustain bloodshed for years, not to mention the Chemical/Bio arsenals. This won’t be easy for anyone to resolve.

  • Monsieuranh says:

    Thanks for clarifying all of that. Some good info about Saudi and Yemeni history there.

  • c.j. says:

    Without an organized political, resistance movement. There can be no foreseeable peace. right now there are two sides, quick action could turn Syria into a hornets nest of worst case scenarios. Without an intelligent council. A Syrian Council. Then perhaps we could help pave the way as we knock down that monster in Damascus! Eliminating important real estate from the Iranians.

  • SomeGuy says:

    Lets pretend everything goes smoothly. Assad steps down…free and fair elections take place…democracy takes root and there is much rejoicing.
    What would be gained by the “new” government by pushing Iran away?
    Turkey and the west won’t be able to match the financial, military and technical support currently provided to the country by Iran and Russia.
    I say “Won’t” because Israel would never allow it. And…regardless of who is in power, it’s not in the country’s economic interests to stop meddling in Lebanese politics.
    Clearly some positive things would happen, but many fewer pieces on the chess board would be affected than some folks are maintaining.

  • sheena says:

    Libya was not really easy – it took years of dismantling the WMD program and also reducing his arsenal – engineered by his son to negotiate better relations. Gaddafi was feeling the heat after Iraq and was convinced by his son to make friends and offer better deals to western companies (key beneficiaries Italy) to reduce the risk of attack. Also he had to implement economic changes designed to induce unrest. Many of the government ministers who quickly changed to the oppposition TNC, were negotiated into their government positions by western brokered deals (to allow opposition leaders to share power) to gain intelligence & locate strategic positions that would need to be bombed when the conflict was due to start. There was a huge amount of ground work done – The nephew of the former King Idris of Libya, was enlisted as far back as 2010 to draw up plans to govern the oil rich part of Libya and a full constitution was drawn up. The printing and production of the tri-colour flag(the monarch colonial flag), shirts and merchandise was ready for Dec 2010. It was impecable careful planning that avoided all of our casualties and allowed us to secure backing. The rebels although small in number (and drafted from other brown countries with qatar money) in Libya were fully trained and ready, not only for the coup but for the aftermath – the aftermath needs detentions, killing and torture – which are the lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq, otherwise, these people will regroup and organise gorilla warfare, constantly, especially if the opposition groups are small in number and those they are trying to defeat are greater and monolithic – you also need to divide with strife to break them down.
    Unfortunately, Syria has benefitted from the knowledge they have gained from Libya and Iraq their neighbours. They know how the thing will unfold. They have already ‘it has been claimed’ armed Hezbollah with surface to air missiles (given to them by Russia – who can’t allow Syria to be taken); in Key strategic points around Israel. They have Iran (and Iraq – through Sadr) as allies. Iran knows the tricks of the trade – thats how they came to power (Unlike Gaddafi).
    This doesn’t mean that it still can’t be won. Infact some elements in Syria make it easier than Libya. Libyans are mainly all Sunni – although the tribe fractions were eventually able to fracture. Syria can break quicker as there is so much diversity. Many more Muslims support this endeavour – especially with the Sunni versus oppresive Shia’s – you can also bring in the Kurds and the Christains. Attempts are being made with the Kurds (negotiations are taking place at the moment) but the Kurds are suspicious of the Turks who are supplying the arms to the Sunni rebels- both the Sunnis and the Turkish government have a long fractured history. The kurdish minority have long been oppressed by the Turkish Government. The Kurds are at a point of Kingmakers with Assad offering them representation to stop them from joining the rebels. We need to either offer them something to join us or threaten them – such allegiances will reduce our casualties significantly. Failing this we might offer the Russians something (what that is I dont know).
    In any event this has started – no going back. Turkey needs Syria – We have convinced Turkey with hostilities now they have no way back – they need Assad out – their economy needs it.

  • george says:

    Syria has always been a puppet of Iran. As has Hezbullah in Lebanon and elsewhere. The US should do everything it can to ensure Syria suffers mightlily as well as Iran. This is the first time in decades where we have them in a bad fix…….need to milk it. We owe them big time. There are many Marines, and SOF who would gladly invade Iran for little more than food and ammo…you wouldnt even have to pay them….payback. Hey Iran….time to pay up…..the butchers bill is high.


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