Israeli intel: Iran has put together a secret 25,000-strong ‘foreign legion’ in Syria

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The Iranian force is said to consist mostly of Afghan and Pakistani recruits.

 

Avi Dichter, chair of Israel’s foreign affairs and defense committee, told a visiting Swiss delegation on Nov. 3 that the Iranian-backed force was made mostly of recruits from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“This is a foreign legion of some 25,000 militants,” Dichter said. “They are fighting in Syria only against the rebels and not against ISIL.Continue reading

US officials: Up to 100,000 Iran-backed fighters now in Iraq

As many as 100,000 Iranian-backed Shiite militia are now fighting on the ground in Iraq, according to U.S. military officials — raising concerns that should the Islamic State be defeated, it may only be replaced by another anti-American force that fuels further sectarian violence in the region.

The ranks have swelled inside a network of Shiite militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. Since the rise of Sunni-dominated ISIS fighters inside Iraq more than two years ago, the Shiite forces have grown to 100,000 fighters, Col. Chris Garver, a Baghdad-based U.S. military spokesman, confirmed in an email to Fox News. The fighters are mostly Iraqis. Continue reading

Iran airlifts thousands of Shiite fighters to Syrian port of Latakia to boost Aleppo warfront

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. Continue reading

Hizbullah for first time announces Iran as sole source of funding, arms

Hizbullah has asserted that its only means of financial and military support stem from Iran.

Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah said Iran marked the sole supplier of the Shi’ite militia in Lebanon. Nasrallah said Hizbullah was not engaged in illicit financial activity, including drug trafficking and money-laundering.

We have been receiving since 1982 all kinds of moral, political and material backing from the Islamic republic of Iran,” Nasrallah said.

In a television address on Feb. 7, Nasrallah issued the first claim that Iran was the sole backer of Hizbullah. The Shi’ite militia chief did not explain why Hizbullah was announcing Iranian sponsorship.

“In the past we alluded partially to this truth,” Nasrallah said. “We used to speak of a moral and political support while keeping silent when questioned about our military backing so as not to embarrass Iran. But today, we have decided to speak out.”

Full article: Hizbullah for first time announces Iran as sole source of funding, arms (World Tribune)