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Monday, May 23, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Opposition: Iran's IRGC expanding operations
in Syria

WASHINGTON — The Syrian opposition has reported a significant expansion of Iranian operations to quell the revolt against President Bashar Assad.


The Reform Party of Syria said Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) could be operating in at least four regions in Syria. RPS, based in Washington, quoted witnesses as saying that Assad's security forces were heard speaking a non-Arabic language.

"Assad is resorting to IRGC killers," RPS said.

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In a statement on May 22, RPS, regarded as authoritative, said IRGC could be operating in the cities of Dera, Idlib, Jisr Al Shughour and Talkala. The group said non-Arabic speakers acting for the regime were assaulting physicians and nurses at the hospital in Idlib.

"This is the beginning of a large campaign against the city to detain peaceful demonstrators," RPS said.

In April, the Syrian opposition reported Assad's use of IRGC as well as the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah to quell protests against the regime. The opposition has reported that several IRGC officers were captured or killed by insurgents.

More than 1,000 civilians were said to have been killed by the Assad regime since March. The opposition said many of the casualties stemmed from live fire by Assad forces, particularly by the Alawite militia Shabiha.

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