The Iranian Quds Force has been the main supporter of Bashar Al Assad sincethe peaceful protests erupted in the midst of the Arab Spring. Syrian infrastructure
The Syrian Defense Minister confirmed that he initially met Ghasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Force, back in 2011 in order to suppress peaceful protesters in Homs, Bab Amr, a suburb of the country’s third largest city.
For the past four decades, Iran has majorly invested its defense strategy on proxy wars and terror cells in the neighboring countries. The Quds Force invested billions of dollars in recruiting, training, and organizing proxy groups mainly in the Middle East and Africa.
The Lebanese Hezbollah, the IraqiHashd Al-Shaabi, and tens of other Iraqi militia groups, the Afghani Fatemiyounand PakestaniZeinabiounas well as many Iranian IRGC soldiers and commanders entered Syria to support Bashar Al-Assad. Syrian infrastructure
Despite their extraordinary presence,Iran was losing the ground in Syria in 2015. More than 10 senior Iranian officials, including Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani were killedin a short period of time and Soleimani was wounded while overseeing an operation in Aleppo.
— Iran Arab Spring (@IranArabSpring) December 31, 2015
Soleimani flew to Moscow and convinced Vladimir Putin to interveneand save the battle he was about to lose.
The official Russian intervention beganin September 2015.Airstrikes mainly targeted the Syrian Revolution’s strongholds.
In December 2016, a combination of Russian airstrikes and siege imposed under Soleimani’s leadership by Hezbollah and other Quds Force mercenaries led to the forcible displacement of Aleppo residents. Same scenario was repeated in Eastern Ghouta and many other cities across Syria. Syrian infrastructure
According toUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Syrians continued to be the largest forcibly displaced population in the world with more than 13.4 million people at the end of 2019. Iran played a major role in the killing and displacement of millions of Syrians, the refugee crisis that poured into Europe and the demographic changes inside Syria amidstworld leaders negotiating the famous “Iran Nuclear Deal”.
The elimination of Ghasem Soleimani in the beginning of 2020 was a major blow for the Iranian Quds Force and its proxies all over the world.
Today, Iranian officials are trying to downplay their military presence in Syria.Their focus is on the economy, culture, and education.
The Iranian Ambassador to Damascus recently met with Syria’s ministers of Health and Education. He signed several agreements to rebuild the country’s damaged health and education systems.
According to Syrian opposition websites, some streets are being named after Pro-Iran militias who have died in battles against opposition groups. Syrian infrastructure
Many previously Sunni dominated cities including Damascus are witnessing widespread Shia religious ceremoniesand demographic changes. Drugs are being widely distributed by Iranian pilgrims. Syrian hotels are endorsing prostitution under religious pretext oftemporary marriage.
This combination of military, cultural, and economic invasionwas alsoemployed in Lebanon and Iraq during the past decades.
Today, Iran’s military role is fading away due to their weakness and the Russian presence, but the creeping influence on the Syrian infrastructure and culture is more dangerous and lastingthan ever. Syrian infrastructure
Writer: Ali Reza Assadzadeh