An Iranian aircraft buzzed a Navy helicopter operating in the Persian Gulf earlier this month, a U.S. military official said Tuesday.
This was not the first time a US drone was threatened by Iranian aircraft over the Persian Gulf, but in reporting the incident, the Pentagon revealed that the drones flying in the neighborhood of Iranian shores are now escorted by US jet fighters.
A couple of hours earlier that evening, DEBKAfile received an exclusive report from its military sources that the Syrian high command had just issued an ultimatum, on the orders of Bashar Assad, demanding that the Lebanese government put an immediate stop to the passage of armed Sunni fighters from Lebanon into Syria, else the Syrian Air Force would strike the Lebanese intruders’ convoys and also their home bases. Damascus claimed they were coming to fight the government alongside the al Qaeda-linked Jabrat al-Nusra. Continue reading
Western intelligence officials told the British Telegraph on Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has personally sanctioned the dispatch of the experienced officers to ensure that the Assad regime survives the threat to its survival.
According to the report, Iran has also shipped hundreds of tons of military equipment, including guns, rockets, and shells to Syria through the regular air corridor that has been established between Damascus and Tehran.
The Iranian operation to support Assad is being masterminded by Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Guards’ Quds force which is responsible for overseeing Iran’s overseas operations. The decision to increase Iran’s support for Syria was taken after the Syrian defense minister and Assad’s brother-in-law were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Syria’s national security headquarters in July, together with a number of other senior defense officials.
The Revolutionary Guards officers were flown to Damascus in chartered Iranian aircraft which were given permission to fly through Iraqi air space, said the report. Iranian military equipment is said to have been shipped to Syria by the same route.
A spokesman for the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) told the Telegraph that some of the Iranians being held by Syrian opposition groups included several brigadier-generals and a number of colonels who had many years of experience serving in the Revolutionary Guards.
Full article: Ahmadinejad Personally Ordered Officers to Syria, Say Sources (Arutz Sheva 7)