The United States believes Iran is supplying munitions to aid Syria’s bloody protest crackdown in an initiative spearheaded by Tehran’s revolutionary guard supremo, according to senior US officials.
Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps elite Quds force, was in the Syrian capital this month, one official said on Friday, in what Washington sees as the most concrete sign yet that Iranian aid to Syria includes military hardware.
“We are confident that he was received at the highest levels of the Syrian government, including by President Assad,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
“We think this relates to Iranian support for the Syrian government’s attempts to suppress its people.”
The official said Washington has reason to believe that Iran is supplying security-related equipment “including munitions” to Syrian forces.
“The US government believes Iran has supplied Syria with munitions” for use in the military crackdown, he said.
The United States has long suspected that Iran has been aiding Syria’s purge against protesters as Assad tries to cling to power and avoid the fate of other Arab dictators felled by the Arab Spring uprisings.
Another official said Soleimani’s visit marks the strongest indication yet of direct cooperation between the allies amid a purge that the UN estimates has left more than 5,000 people dead since March.
The officials did not give further details of the info… >>>