Special to WorldTribune.com
NICOSIA — Iran, concerned over abductions, has banned land travel in
The Teheran regime has stopped Iranians from traveling to Syria amid a
rash of abductions by Sunni rebels. The regime said Iranians could only
reach Syrian cities by aircraft.
“Due to the terrorist acts against Iranian pilgrims who are taking road trips to the holy sites in Syria, from Feb. 3, and until further notice road trips to this destination are forbidden,” Iranian immigration police chief Mahmoud Sadeqi said.
So far, about 30 Iranians have been abducted in Syria, the latest on
Feb. 1. They included at least five officers from Iran’s Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iran has sent hundreds of thousands of nationals to Syria for an annual Shi’ite pilgrimage. But Iran has acknowledged that IRGC also intensified its presence and was bringing in units from the Hizbullah and Shi’ite militias in Iraq.
The Syrian National Council reported that IRGC-Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani arrived in Syria and was helping direct the war
against the opposition. Suleimani was said to have been granted access to
the regime’s command headquarters, a privilege given only to Assad, his
younger brother, Maher, brother-in-law Assaf Chawkat and cousin Rami