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Wednesday, May 18, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Syrian opposition: Iran deployed IRGC units
to quash anti-Assad revolt

LONDON — The Iranian opposition has reported the deployment of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to Syria to defend the regime of President Bashar Assad.


The Arab opposition to the Teheran regime said Iran has sent IRGC units to Syria to quell the revolt against Assad, Middle East Newsline reported. The opposition said IRGC has been deployed in such Syrian cities as Banias, Damascus and Latakia.

"The Revolutionary Guards Corps currently provides the latest military training for the forces of Bashar Assad and helps them with tactics to bring the protests in Syrian cities under control," Nasser Jaber, a spokesman for the Movement for Arab Liberation of Ahvaz, said.

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Jaber's assertion echoed that of others in the Syrian opposition. As early as two months ago, the Syrian opposition reported the presence of Hizbullah and IRGC officers in the Assad crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. About 1,000 people have been reportedly killed by the regime.

The opposition said several officers who spoke Farsi were captured by insurgents in the southern city of Dera. Dera, with an estimated 500 casualties, has been the focus on the Syrian revolt.

In an interview with the Saudi-owned A-Sharq Al Awsat, Jaber said IRGC began training Assad's forces in 2009. He said the flow of Syrian military and police officers to Iran intensified, and they were trained at IRGC's camp in northern Teheran.

"The Teheran regime knows very well that downfall of Bashar will pose a grave danger to the regime of the [ruling] clergymen in Iran," Jaber said. "Therefore, Iran works to ensure that its regime will stay, not to serve Syria's interest."

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