For the first time a high ranking Iranian military official confirms Tehran has sent more military personnel recently to Syria to support the Syrian President Bashar Assad and to participate in the defence of “Zaynab shrine,” as they claim. He also explained the objectives of these forces sent there, there are many reports recently shows the increased numbers of Iranian officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards killed during the battles in Syria in the past few weeks, most notably Gen. Hossein Hamadani.
In an interview with Iranian state owned-television channel, the deputy commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Hossein Salami, admitted that “Iranian forces present in the battlefields in Syria”, this statement comes contradictory to the claims made by Iranian officials regularly that the military personnel sent by Tehran to Syria is to provide military advisory roles only.
He also added “Several months ago, when the Syrian regime began to rebuild his army they asked us to increase the advisory support. That’s why we have doubled the number of our troops in Syria.”
According to the Iranian media, at least 40 member of the Revolutionary Guards have been killed in Syria in the past 3 weeks especially in the southern countryside of Aleppo and northern Hama where the heated battles against the Syrian opposition forces is being happening.
According to the Israeli online-newspaper Ynetnews, Iran criticized the military performance of Russian military in Syria, blaming Russia for the increased deaths of the Iranian troops fighting against the Syrian opposition.
Iran held Russia the responsibility for its heavy casualties because the Russian airforce failed to provide protection for its troops and allied Shiite militants, and failed to provide effective assistance to the ground offensive in Southern suburbs of Aleppo and northern Hama.
There are disagreements between Iranian and Russian senior military commanders, the Iranians insist that they didn’t receive the effective air support from the Russians which resulted in failure to capture new positions from the Syrian opposition forces including heavy casualties from the Syrian troops and Iranian officers.