Iran Deploys Troops to Syria As Part of "Training"

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.) evidently continues to deploy cadets to battlefields in Syria as part of training its future offers. According to a senior I.R.G.C. commander,  “some of the students sent for two-month training sessions were martyred, many were injured and some have been deployed in Syria for a longer period.” The cadets are said to come from Imam Hossein University in Tehran, an institution that operates under the control of the I.R.G.C.

Comment: The Iranian regime’s military intervention in Syria on behalf of Bashar al-Assad continues to face pushback from the Iranian people who question the logic behind and the financial cost of Tehran’s commitment to keep Assad in power. The leadership in Tehran maintains that its military intervention is about defending Iranian national interests, but this line of argument has increasingly been discredited in the eyes of ordinary Iranians who view Iran’s Syria policy as a case of regional adventurism on the part of the hardline generals that control the I.R.G.C. Popular misgivings about Iran’s actions in Syria are such that the leadership in Tehran has had to repeatedly stress that conscripts will not be deployed to fight in Syria and only volunteers and forces from the I.R.G.C. will be sent to that country. No reliable figures exist but media announcements of casualties point to some 500 Iranian military deaths in Syria since 2012. Hundreds more of Afghan, Pakistani and other Shiite militiamen fighting under Iranian command have also been killed in Syria.