The incoming reinforcements are made up of Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani Shiite militiamen. The fact that Tehran was able to raise this force in less than 24 hours from the Syrian army’s defeat in Aleppo demonstrates Iran’s total military and strategic commitment to swift action for averting a Syrian-Hizballah retreat from a key front of the four-year old civil war.
The Iranian planes are taking two routes to Syria, starting out either in Baghdad or Tehran. In Baghdad, they touch down in the military section of the international airport and collect the Iraqi Shiite militiamen destined for the Syrian battlefield. This step necessitated the consent of the Iraqi government and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
The Iranian operation therefore exposes two exceedingly disturbing developments which are causing Israel’s army chiefs to burn the midnight oil: The fall of the Abadi government under Tehran’s sway is one; and Iraq’s direct involvement for the first time in the military actions of the Syrian civil war.
Our sources add that President Barack Obama was in a position, had he wished, to intervene with Baghdad and hold back the Iranian troop airlift to Syria. This has not happened.
The administration’s inaction places it squarely behind Iran’s military steps in the Middle East and its direct intervention in key trouble spots.
Full article: Iran airlifts thousands of Shiite fighters to Syrian port of Latakia to boost Aleppo warfront (DEBKAfile)