Iran is said to have deployed hundreds of ground troops in Syria to battle with the ISIS. According to a Syrian official who has spoken with The Associated Press, 1500 Iranian Revolutionary Guards had been arriving days after Russia commenced its air offensive in Syria. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed rebel group, had also sent its fighters on Syrian grounds, the source told AP.
While both Iranian and Syrian officials had long since admitted they already have troops on Syrian grounds, Wednesday’s report from AP is the first official confirmation of Iranian troops fighting on the ground. Another source speaking anonymously with The Telegraph revealed the same information.
The source told The Telegraph that Iranian ground troops were deployed following Russia’s official participation in the war against the ISIS and other rebel groups who want to oust the Assad regime. This would mean that Iran & Hezbollah would also be in combat with the U.S.-backed rebels. According to the source, the Iranian and Hezbollah fighters were entering Syria in the capital, Damascus, before travelling to President Bashar al-Assad’s stronghold of Latakia.
Meanwhile, Turkey, a long NATO and U.S. ally, has issued stern warnings against U.S. and Russia against arming the Kurdish militia or the YPG/PYD. Turkey view YPG as its enemy but U.S. viewed it as an effective force against the ISIS. With regard to Russia, Turkey is suspecting that it too was rendering support to the YPG.
“This is clear cut for us and there is no joking about it,” said one Turkish official who has spoken with Reuters on condition of anonymity.
“The PYD has been getting closer with both the United States and Russia of late. We view the PYD as a terrorist group and we want all countries to consider the consequences of their cooperation,” another Turkish official said of the current situation in Syria.
“With support from Russia, the PYD is trying to capture land between Jarablus and Azaz, going west of the Euphrates. We will never accept this,” the official told Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense for the Russian Federation announced that Russian and US military held a video conference on Oct. 14. The officials discuss the flight safety of the Russian aviation and the aircraft flying for the US-led coalition in Syria. Both parties have one aim, that is, to defeat the ISIS.
The ministry also announced that in the course of 24 hours, Russian aviation have conducted pinpoint airstrikes against the ISIS. Its Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25SM aircraft performed 41 combat sorties, engaging 40 facilities of the ISIS infrastructure in the Aleppo, Idlib, Lattakia, Hama and Deir ez-Zor provinces, the ministry said.