MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) – Iran has decided to deploy 4,000 troops to Syria to aid Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in war against rebels, The Independent reported on Sunday.
The decision to send a contingent of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria was taken before the June 14 presidential election which brought reformist-backed cleric Hassan Rouhani to power.
The newspaper said citing pro-Iranian sources that Syria’s strategic ally, Iran “has proposed opening up a new ‘Syrian’ front on the Golan Heights against Israel” as part of the efforts to preserve the Assad regime. Iran’s authorities have not given official comment on the report.
This comes after Washington announced on Thursday it will provide military support to Syria’s rebels saying it has “high confidence” the Assad regime had used chemical weapons. The Syrian government denied the accusations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that US military aid to Syrian rebels may lead to further escalation of violence in the country. He stressed that the US accusations of chemical weapons use by Damascus are “not supported by reliable facts.”