Iranian soldiers are fighting alongside troops supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah troops, according to a State Department official.
The Washington Post is reporting:
An unknown number of Iranians are fighting inside Syria, the official said, citing accounts from opposition forces supported by Western and Arab governments. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview a strategy session that Secretary of State John F. Kerry will hold Wednesday with key opposition supporters.
Syrian rebels have claimed for weeks that Iran is sending trained fighters to the Syrian civil war, and Iran-backed Hezbollah has said baldly that it will not let Assad fall.
Obama has already let the Assad regime cross his red line on using chemical weapons, so it’s hard to imagine he’ll care about this.
Someone who might care? Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel. Israel, which shares a border with Syria, has already taken military action there. Earlier this month, the Israelis bombed a Syrian research facility and a missile shipment to Iranian-backed Hezbollah. This week, Israeli troops near the Syrian border faced a direct hit from Syria, one of a number of encounters that have occurred in recent months.
Israel already has well-founded concerns about Iran, so knowledge that Iran has soldiers in a country that Israel borders and with which it has had recent violent conflict is another step in the wrong direction. Israel has shown that it isn’t afraid to take action when it needs to, so this is definitely a situation to watch carefully.
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