Iran will maintain its support for the Syrian government despite the deaths of hundreds of its advisers and volunteers in the six-year civil war, a commander said in comments published Tuesday.
Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah are the Syrian regime’s most important military supporters after Russia in its battle against rebels. “We will send advisers in all fields and offer all help at our disposal so the resistance front doesn’t break,” the ground forces commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Pakpour, told the Fars news agency.
“They are present there now and we will deploy more as long as there is a need for advisory support.” Pakpour said that advisers from the Guards’ ground forces, including the Saberin Special Forces Unit, were working alongside those from the Guards’ Quds Force foreign operations arm.
As well as advisers, Iran has sent thousands of “volunteer” fighters recruited among its own nationals as well as the Shiite communities in neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also has military advisers and trainers deployed in Iraq. As of early March, at least 2,100 fighters sent from Iran had been killed in Iraq and Syria, according to Iranian officials.