ISNA News Agency, affiliated with the regime, reported on November 5, that Esmail Qaani, the Deputy Qods Force Commander, made these remarks at the commemoration of one of the commanders of IRGC in Syria, Hossein Hamedani, in the Military University of Imam Hossein.
Qaani referred to the Syrian Civil War as a fundamental battle for the regime. He told the IRGC and those who were deployed to Syria that, “this war requires very strong and firm people who attend on the battlefield and fight with all of their dignity.” He added, “of course this war will continue and it will not simultaneously end with the incidents of Iraq and Syria since this war is based on identity and existence and it will continue. Today Syria needs the commanders who can impose the will of the Islamic Republic of Iran to their enemies. It is actually a significant character that each commander of the Assad’s regime should have.” His comments are explicit regarding the position of Iran in the conflicts of Syria.
The Deputy Commander of Qods Force said that the plans of the Syrian regime have failed, ”the enemies made an effort to break our will. We could not fulfill the IRI’s will unless our commanders resisted. I appreciate the commander Hossein Hamedani who did not withhold any attempt to fight with the enemies in the Syrian war. By the time he was appointed as the commander of the Advisory Forces in Syria, the situation in Syria was so critical that an airplane was targeted with a shell while landing at Damascus Airport. The Takfiris Forces fired the presidential palace with shells and they have marched until the back of the Iranian Embassy in Syria.”
The Guardian, as well as several other media outlets, reported that Hossein Hamedani was killed in Aleppo in October 2015, and this incident indicates the growing support of the IRI for the Assad’s regime.
Brigadier General Qasem Soleimani, Commander of Qods Force, issued a statement to Basij and IRGC forces, asking them to pay no attention to criticism expressed at his policies, or the role of IRGC in Syria and other regions.
The Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei personally directs the operations of Qods Forces outside the borders, and the regime does not reveal the death tolls or the amount of money spent on the war to the people of Iran. However, the significance of the statement of the Commander of Qods Force, and the remarks of his Deputy, Esmail Qaani, show that the Syrian Civil War is criticized by some military commanders and political authorities in the country.