Iran has admitted its involvement in Syria, saying that it has sent Special Forces to that Arab country.
The commander-in-chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, told reporters in Tehran on Sunday that members of its elite Quds force had been in Syria and Lebanon as advisers for a long time, but was not more specific on the matter.
Assuring continued support to Syria, he said his forces were proud to protect that strife-torn country, where an armed rebellion against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad had left more than 18,000 people, mostly civilians, dead during the past 17 months.
Jafari said Iran remained undecided whether to send military reinforcements to help save the Assad regime. The decisions whether to boost military aid to Syria if attacked would "depend on the circumstances," he added.
Jafari also said a U.S.-led military exercise that started on Sunday in the Persian Gulf posed no threat to Iran, but repeated the threat that the Straits of Hormuz, the vital waterway that links the oil-rich Gulf States with the Indian Ocean, would be closed if Iran was attacked.
Analysts say that Jafari's comments mark the clearest indication of Iran's direct assistance to its main Arab allies, Assad and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
by RTT Staff Writer
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