Hundreds of Iranian troops and equipment have been transported to Syria ahead of a ground attack supported by Russian airstrikes to help President Bashar al-Assad recapture territory, Reuters reported today, citing Lebanese sources.
“The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies,” said one of the sources familiar with political and military developments in the conflict.
“It is possible that the coming land operations will be focused in the Idlib and Hama countryside,” the source added. …
“The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisors … we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more,” the second source said. Iraqis would also take part in the operation, the source said.
Iranian assistance to Assad had previously consisted of recruiting fighters to support the government, and sending military advisors to assist Assad’s forces.
France is currently investigating Assad for crimes against humanity. Syria’s allies could also potentially be held liable for Assad’s war crimes.
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