Iranian army brigade dispatched to Syria; at least 30 student Basij forces killed
Mehr News Agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s Minsitry of Intelligence and Security, an official from Iran Azad University stated that at least 30 student-members of the Basij paramilitary forces have been killed in Iraq and Syria, in an interview on April 5th.
Mohammad-taqi Tabatabaei, the general secretary of Azad University, said of the recent deaths, “Given this number of martyrs from Azad University, a commemoration for the martyrs will be held in May at this university.”
One day prior to the Mehr News report, Amir-ali Arasteh, deputy coordinator of the Iranian Army, spoke to the Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Tasnim News Agency and referred to the presence of army advisors, especially the 65th Brigade, in Syria. He noted: “The 65th Brigade is part of the Army and we dispatch forces from the 65th Brigade, as well as other units, to Syria as advisors, but this deployment is not particular to the 65th Commando Brigade.”
Also on April 4, Al Jazeera TV reported that at least 212 personnel of the Iranian regime’s forces have been killed in Syria, including four officers killed on April 3.
Iranian regime military forces that have been fighting in Syria in support of Bashar Assad since the initiation of the conflict continue to insist that they are there just as advisors.
The Iranian regime also uses Pakistanis residing in Iran who are deployed as the Zainabiyoun Brigade, as well as Afghanis residing in that country who are deployed as the Fatemyoun Brigade, to fight the Syrian opposition forces.
Burial ceremonies for a large number of Pakistani and Afghanis dispatched by Iran to Syria have been held in various cities in Iran in recent months.
According to information obtained from inside the Iranian regime by the Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Tehran has dispatched more than 60,000 IRGC forces, including 8,000 Iranians to Syria to keep Bashar Assad in power.
Asaad al-Zoubi, the head of the main Syrian opposition council’s delegation to talks in Geneva said: “The number of Iranian forces in Syria reaches 69,000. These include members of the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] and military experts who work in the missiles, chemical and communications sections, and a number of them fight alongside Assad forces. Altogether they are 69,000. They have been deployed in Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Latakia, Damascus and Daraa provinces.”
“Currently, 8000 Iranian regime forces are undergoing training in Qadessiya University and Yarmouk in Daraa to be dispatched to Eastern Gota,” he added.