In a recent order, Ayatollah Khamenei has given the duty of stabilizing the Assad regime in Syria to Iran’s Quds forces.
According to the Turkish newspaper, Sabah, the commander of the Quds forces, Qassem Soleimani and 15,000 of his fighters have entered Syria with the mission of assisting in the suppression of the Syrian protestors. The Quds forces will act as a firewall for the Assad regime as the Syrian army is finding itself in a difficult situation where many officers are joining the opposition because they do not approve of the mass killings of the civilians, which so far has taken the lives of more than 5,000 people.
Other sources have indicated that Qassem Soleimani has a permanent presence in Syria’s war room overseeing and managing the attacks on the opposition.
Khamenei has said that Syria is the red line, adding that the fall of Assad will not be tolerated. Qassem Soleimani is urging Assad to enforce a complete lockdown of information to the outside world and to use a vicious clampdown to put an end to the uprising before the West can possibly get involved militarily.
The Iranian leader also has asked Hezbollah to join forces with the Quds forces to help the Assad regime. As reported back in July, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei delivered a threatening letter to President Obama ordering the U.S. to cease and desist pressuring the Syrian regime leadership, cautioning that Iran will retaliate against American forces in the region.
At the same time, the Revolutionary Guards, through its publication, Sobh’eh Sadegh, in an article titled, “Iran’s Serious Stance in the Face of Syrian Events,” warned that “Should Turkish officials insist on their contradictory behavior and if they continue on their present path, serious issues are sure to follow. We will be put in the position of having to choose between Turkey and Syria. Syria’s justification in defending herself along with mirroring ideological perceptions would sway Iran toward choosing Syria.”
Days ago, a source close to Soleimani disclosed to the Pan-Arab media outlet, Al Arabiya, that the Guards’ forces in Syria, in coordination with Russia and China, are there to protect the Assad regime. He added that Russia has committed to sending an aircraft carrier task force to the area to ensure that “the West knows we will not allow any military adventurism against Syria.”
On Saturday, China and Russia vetoed the UN resolution condemning Syria for the continuing killing of its people. The UN resolution that came to a vote on Saturday said the Security Council “fully supports” the Arab League plan that calls for Assad to cede powers to his vice-president and a unity government that would lead Syria to democratic elections.
As graphic videos are emerging from inside Syria, some U.S. lawmakers, including Senators McCain and Lieberman, are suggesting that the U.S. consider arming Syrian rebels.
Also today it was reported by Fars News Agency (which is close to the Revolutionary Guards), the representative of the terrorist group Hezbollah stationed in Tehran, warned the West that the result of the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists will be very bad for the West. He added that “Soon under the guidance of the leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, we will witness the destruction of the West.”
Ayatollah Khamenei called the recent assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, deputy director of the first uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, a deed that crossed the red line, and openly announced that Iran will respond in kind.
Since then several members of the Iranian Quds forces and terrorist group Hezbollah, have been arrested in Argentina, Azerbaijan and Thailand.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).