At the beginning of June in the online magazine Foreign Policy published an article by journalist Borzou Daragahi (Borzou Daragahi), about the complex situation currently in Syria. We offer translation from English, as well as point of view on the events of the popular French blogger Jules Allen (Allain Jules).
The body of Hamid Rezai brought in the last batch of Iranian soldiers killed in Syria. He died as reported, during an Israeli missile attack on the T4 airbase near HOMS. There was a 30-year-old native of Tehran, pious young man, his father was also a soldier, little daughter of Hamid was left an orphan. At the funeral Rezai in late April, the weeping mother said that didn’t discourage him from that he went to fight in Syria. According to the publication in “Mashreg news”, she said: “it offends Me when people ask, why do you not prevent him? My son chose his own path.”
Rezai is one of the 2,000 Iranians killed in Syria since then, as Tehran began to enter into the country and huge resources to protect the government of Bashar al-Assad. Israel insists that Russia and other international players forced Iran to leave Syria, threatening otherwise to cause new attacks on the Iranian positions as its border on the Golan heights and within the country. U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo announced the withdrawal of troops from Iran in Syria as one of the 12 conditions for lifting the sanctions after the administration of the tramp refused the nuclear deal.
But Iranian officials and other experts say that the country has invested too much blood and money to give to the international requirements, and it does not affect either Israeli airstrikes or even pressure from Moscow. Making such a large investment, Iran intends to benefit from potential long-term strategic benefits that can offer Syria, even if it requires in the short term, more lives and money.
“I don’t think Iran is ready to abandon its presence in Syria, — said the editor of a leading news Agency in Tehran, who spoke about foreign policy on condition of anonymity. — This gives Iran a good leverage on Israel. Area is very important, and Iran very cleverly controls the territory, and the Russians in this respect are weak. He who controls the land, not take seriously those who do not”.
Iran insists that he is in Syria for the agreement with Damascus and only at his request. “Iran will maintain its presence in Syria and will contribute to the Syrian government as long as necessary, as long as there is terrorism, while the Syrian government wants us to do,” he said, according to the BBC, Bahram Qassimi, the representative of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Iran.
In an interview with Russian TV, Assad said that Syria has never been Iranian troops. “We have the Iranian officers who work to help the Syrian army, he said. But they have no troops here”.
Iran, along with its Lebanese ally Hezbollah immediately intervened in Syria for the protection of the government, which was his loyal ally at a time when most of the world has already written off from the accounts of Assad as another victim of the Arab spring. Over the past seven years, the Iranian investments in Syria are estimated in billions of dollars in military and economic programs which sometimes are intertwined. Iran recruiting and training of militias from across the Middle East and South Asia, sends them to Syria, providing the families of the victims.
According to calculations by Mansur Farhang, American scientist and former Iranian diplomat, Iran has spent on military and economic assistance to Syria, at least 30 billion dollars. Evaluation of Nadim Shehadi, a specialist on the Middle East at the School of law and diplomacy, tufts University Fletcher, is even higher: $ 15 billion per year, and about $ 105 billion. But here it should be noted that the order of the numbers can be deliberately politically biased to the point of instability in Iran, when the Iranians demand in the country is strict accountability and fiscal transparency.
Farhang believes that “they did so much economic and political investment that it’s very difficult to pick up your Luggage and go home.”
According to Navara Oliver, a military scholar at the Center for strategic studies Omran (Istanbul), now Iranian forces are operating out of 11 bases across the country. Also there are 9 military bases for the Pro-Iranian fighters-Shiites to the South of Aleppo, in HOMS and Deir ezzor. And there are about 15 bases and observation posts Hizbollah, mostly along the Lebanese border and in Aleppo.
Military analysts said that Iran pushes Russia to force him to remove troops and militia from the South of Syria in Deir ez-Zor, West of Euphrates river. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would strike at any attempt of Iran to gain a foothold militarily in the country, “not only near the Golan heights, but in any place in Syria.” Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dore gold insists that Netanyahu was not talking in a figurative sense, he was referring to the whole country. “From a pure military point of view, Israel wants Iran gone out of Syria,” said gold, now Director of the Jerusalem think tank.
But Iran’s involvement in Syria goes beyond military presence, and it has already begun there lay the seeds of their unique financial and ideological institutions. Iranian-backed Jihad al-Binaa, the Islamic charitable Foundation, which financed and organized the reconstruction of southern Beirut after the summer war of 2006, along with a dozen other organizations associated with Iran, is already working on major projects for the reconstruction of schools, roads and other infrastructure in Aleppo and other cities. They also assist the families of the victims of the Syrian militia.
A few days later on the website appeared MamAfrika TV performance popular French blogger Alain Jules Verne, in which he quoted the statements of the Iranian Brigadier General Hossein Salameh, commander of the Islamic revolutionary guard, the determination of Tehran to strengthen its position in Syria.
In particular, he warned: “When the Zionists attacked the airbase T4 in Syria and killed several young people, they believed that will not get an answer … They thought they can intimidate, with the support of the United States and the UK, our resistance front, and figured that no one will respond to the kick, but as you all saw, we retaliated”.
“They (Israel — ed.) vowed to put an end to the Syrian government, but received an answer in the Golan and dozens of missiles flew there; it was a message sent to them. We threatened to strike the heart of tel Aviv, and since then, they have to shut up and do nothing,” said Salameh, speaking to the Iranian people in Mashhad, northeast of Iran.
Indeed, the Israeli raids against Syria were less likely. However, after the attack on the air base, T-4, Israel launched at least two attacks against Syrian government forces in Western Syria.