1. Following its consecutive defeats in Syria that escalated in winter of 2014, the Iranian regime sought Russian assistance to advance under the umbrella of Russian aerial bombardment with its revolutionary guards, the Hezbollah, Iraqi militias, Afghan and Pakistani mercenaries, and the remainder of Assad’s army. However, two months into some of the most intense bombings where thousands of civilians have been killed, the regime has little to show for it, plus it has been dealt serious defeats in some areas forcing it to retreat.
2. The foremost objective of the IRGC was to conquer the liberated sections of Aleppo. Qassem Soleimani personally oversaw the criminal operations south of Aleppo. In the first days of Russian attacks, he had told the IRGC that if you do not allow the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to occupy further areas, the other forces will conquer Aleppo in three days. The first stage of the plan was to overrun the Damascus-Aleppo Highway, but the IRGC was forced to retreat from after suffering heavy casualties. Just in one of the villages of that area, fifteen revolutionary guards lost their lives in the recent days. At this front, in addition to the IRGC, there are Hezbollah elements and Iraqi and Afghan mercenaries.
3. Due to the importance of Latakia to the Assad regime and Russia, there are IRGC forces stationed there to take the northern suburbs of Latakia that have been liberated in order to prevent Latakia’s fall. In the recent days, along with intense Russian bombings, the revolutionary guards and the Assad army staged intense attacks to the liberated areas, but were defeated. In addition to Aleppo and Latakia, the IRGC and its mercenaries are also present around Damascus, Dara and Idlib. Among their priorities is to stop FSA advance to Damascus.
The IRGC is mostly fighting the FSA and Jaish al-Fatah and the forces associated with it and they are not present in regions where they could come into contact with ISIS. Qassem Soleimani has clearly spelled out to the revolutionary guards that the forces they confront are the FSA and not ISIS.
4. Beside Qassem Soleimani, in the recent months, the clerical regime has dispatched some of the highest ranking QF and IRGC commanders to Syria. Some of these commanders are:
- IRGC Brigadier General Esmail Qa’ani, deputy to Soleimani in QF that recently commanded the IRGC forces in the battle in Aleppo. He has in fact replaced IRGC commander Hossein Hamedani who was killed in Syria on October 8.
- IRGC Brigadier General Qasem Rostami, former commander of IRGC Khatam Base and Oil Minister of Ahmadinejad, he is the commander of logistics of the war in Syria.
- IRGC Brigadier General Ahmad Madani known as “Seyyed Javad” who has been the commander of IRGC in the northern front in Syria. He is currently stationed in Aleppo region.
- Haj Ali Safari, one of the commanders of Valiassr Corps in Khuzestan Province, who is stationed in Latakia and is also responsible for a section of IRGC supplies in Syria.
- IRGC Brigadier General Haj Komail Kohansal, from Division 24 of Karbala in Mazandaran Province that was recently wounded in Latakia and was returned to Iran.
5. IRGC units at war against people of Syria: The clerical regime has increased the number of revolutionary guards in Syria since a few months ago, so that it could launch extensive ground attacks simultaneous with Russian aerial bombardments. Presently, the number of IRGC guards in Syria amounts to at least 5000. This is in addition to tens of thousands of Hezbollah forces, Iraqi militia as well as Afghan and Pakistani hirelings who are working under IRGC command killing the people of Syria. Besides combat units, the IRGC has also dispatched artillery, aviation and engineering units, drones as well as intelligence and operations commanders to Syria. A partial list of IRGC units from various parts of Iran which are or have been in Syria are as the following:
- Battalions of the Ansar Al-Mahdi Corps, also known as Vali Amr Corps, which are originally tasked with protection of Khamenei and other regime officials. These are the most skilled and most reliable forces of the regime and are presently stationed south of Aleppo. Abdollah Bagheri who was Ahmadinejad’s bodyguard and a member of this corps got recently killed in Syria. Also, the Fatehin battalion was recently called back from Syria due to high casualties. Haj Ali Faraji commands this battalion which is originally stationed in Tehran’s Yaftabad. Saberin battalions, IRGC Special Forces unit.
- Battalions called Saberin, which are IRGC special units
- 5th Nassr Division battalions from Khorassan Razavi province
- Units from Imam Reza 21st Independent Armored Brigade
- Units from the 17th Ali ibn AbiTalib Division from Qom
- Units from the 14th Imam Hussein Division from Isfahan
- Units from 1st Hojjat Brigade and 3rd Karkheh Brigade from the 7th Vali Asr Armored Division from Ahwaz
- Units from Ansar al-Rassoul Brigade from Nabi Akram Corps from Kermanshah
- Units from 19th Fajr Division and 33rd Al-Mahdi Airborne Brigade from Fars Province
- Some of the units of Qods Force from Gilan
- Some of the units of the 25th Karbala Division from Mazandaran Province
- Some of the units of Seyyed os-Shohada Corps from Tehran Province
- Some of the units of Naynava 1st Brigade, 60th Armored Brigade and 45th Javad ol-A’emmeh from Golestan Province
- Some of the units of the 41st Tharallah Division from Kerman Province
- 161st Battalion from Ansar-al Hussein Corps and 164th Ali-Akbar Commando Battalion from Hamedan
- The 56th Younis Artillery group from Fars Province
6. Shiite militia: In addition to the Lebanese Hezbollah, the clerical regime has organized its other non-Iranian hirelings into various units to fight the people of Syria.
- Kata’ib Hezbollah, Asa’ib al-Haq and the Badr Corps comprised of hired agents from Iraq. In addition to their active involvement in the slaughter of the people of Iraq, they have dispatched a large number of their forces to Syria on the orders of the Iranian regime.
- Abolfadhl al-Abbass, Zolfaqar, Kata’ib Seyyed os-Shohada, Saraya Khorassani and Harekat an-Nojaba brigades formed in recent years from Iraqi agents by the IRGC and deployed in Syria.
- Fatemiyoun Division made up of Afghans residing in Iran particularly prisoners who have been released on condition of fighting in Syria and hired by the IRGC with a monthly salary of $500. A large number of them, including their commanders Alireza Tavassoli and Mostafa Sadrzadeh, have been killed in Syria.
- Zainabiyoun Group made up of Pakistani Shiites residing in Iraq who have been organized by the IRGC.
7. Mullahs affiliated with the Iranian regime are present in various Shiite districts in Syria to mobilize them for war. Khamenei sends exorbitant sums of money through these mullahs to dispatch the local Shiites to war. The mullahs, however, express despair over the conditions of Assad’s forces and their local volunteers, saying their propaganda has lost its effectiveness.
8. At least 100 of IRGC’s officers and trained forces have been killed over the past two months, but only some of their bodies have been transferred to Iran and a large number have been interred in Syria. The official IRNA news agency declared in June 2015 that the number of those killed in Syria and buried in Iran was 400, while the actual number of IRGC forces and agents killed exceeds 3000 and included some of IRGC’s top commanders who have been killed in the war in Syria:
IRGC Brigadier Hossein Hamedani, Acting Commander of IRGC, deputy commander of the Qods Force and commander of the regime’s forces in Syria;
IRGC Brigadier Mohmmad Ali Allah-Dadi, commander of the Al-Ghadeer Corps;
IRGC Brigadier Abdollah Eskandari;
IRGC Brigadier Abdollah Haidari;
IRGC Brigadier Hassan Shateri, head of Lebanon’s reconstruction staff;
IRGC Brigadier Ismael Haidari;
IRGC Brigadier Jabbar Dorissavi;
IRGC Brigadier Mohammad Jamali Paghaleh;
IRGC Brigadier Seyyed Hamid Tabatabaii Mehr, an IRGC ground operations director;
IRGC Brigadier Hadi Kajbaf, commander of Shoushtar Corps of Khuzistan;
IRGC Brigadier Hossein Padpa, a 41st Tharallah Division commander;
IRGC Brigadier Rouzbeh Helissiyaii;
IRGC Brigadier Jabbar Araghi;
IRGC Brigadier Shaibani;
IRGC Brigadier Abolreza Mojairi;
IRGC Brigadier Ezzatollah Soleimani;
IRGC Colonel Amir Reza Alizadeh;
IRGC Colonel Abbas Abdollahi;
IRGC Colonel Moslem Khizab;
IRGC Colonel Hamid Mokhtarband
IRGC Colonel Farshad Hassouni-zadeh.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran
Committee on Security and Anti-terrorism
November 30, 2015