Iran has sent in its top generals, established a training camp in Iraq to train mercenaries, and even recruited Afghan refugees to fight in the war; supposedly there are now 25,000 troops under Iranian control in the country.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said that the Iranian forces have established a headquarters, just 20 miles southeast of Aleppo.
Shahin Gobadi, the spokesman for the NCRI, said: “This report leaves no doubt that the Iranian regime is the primary obstacle to any solution in Syria. The current situation in Aleppo and the role of the Iranian regime in the atrocities committed on the ground require the immediate expulsion of the IRGC and its mercenaries from Syria. By meddling in other countries, the mullahs try to cover up their vulnerability at home. The survival of the [Iranian] regime has been intertwined with maintaining the Assad dictatorship in power in Syria.”
The troops controlling Aleppo are under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC); indeed, photos recently surfaced of Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Forces (a more violent arm of the IRGC), surveying the streets of Aleppo with his Russian counterpart.
Gobadi said: “The fact is that Aleppo has been occupied by the IRGC and its mercenaries. Mass executions, preventing the transfer of civilians including women and children, attacking the civilians – has all been done by the forces of the mullahs’ regime.”
He continued: “[They] are the main source of the crisis in Syria and the region. By abusing the inaction of the international community and being convinced of not being held accountable for its crimes, [Iran] has continuously become more emboldened.”
Further evidence of Iran’s influence comes from a meeting between the foreign and defence ministers of Russia, Iran, and Turkey regarding the Syrian civil war.
John Kirby, White House Press Spokesman, said: “We know that there are Iranian-backed fighters in Syria…We’ve talked about the unhelpful role that they have been playing in supporting the Assad regime through advice, through some combat operations, certainly through arms and assistance…We have said before we want the regime and its backers, which includes Iran, to stop that kind of activity and to try to get us to a point where we can achieve a meaningful ceasefire.”