Russia Insider | March 16, 2017
Citing Syrian sources, Nezavisimaya Gazeta claims that the deal for an Iranian base in Syria has already been made:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given the go-ahead to the deployment of an Iranian naval base close to the Hmeymim airbase used by Russia’s Aerospace Forces to carry out airstrikes against the Islamic State (terror group, outlawed in Russia), some media reports said citing Syrian sources.
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There is no official confirmation of these reports yet, but the issue was raised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.
Summing up the outcome of his meeting with the Russian leader, Netanyahu told reporters that Tehran’s efforts to ensure its permanent presence in Syria chiefly motivated him to visit Moscow.
Although it is unclear what the parties have agreed on, it is safe to assume that without Moscow’s tacit consent, Assad would have hardly approved Tehran’s plans.
Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of Iran’s General Staff, earlier said that the Iranian Navy could soon need bases in Syria and Yemen.
At that time, that statement was seen as a propaganda move, but now the situation seems to have changed considering that Tehran is one of Damascus’ key allies in the fight against IS extremists.
“If regular Iranian troops take part in military operations in Syria, Assad will win,” asserted military expert Yury Netkachev. “This is very bold scenario. The United States, Israel, NATO member-countries, including Turkey, which is formally considered Iran’s ally in the peace process organized within the framework of Astana, will work vigorously against this,” he noted.
Meanwhile, political scientist and expert on Iran, Vladimir Sazhin, said that Tehran could play a more significant role in ensuring Syria’s defense capacity. “According to official statements, Iran sent only military advisers and instructors to Syria.
However, according to unofficial data, the Iranian armed forces, primarily the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are participating in the fighting in that country. The Iranian forces in Syria have done a lot to save the Assad regime, but they could do more,” the expert emphasized.
Now we just have to wait for confirmation from Assad. Netanyahu is going to have a stroke.