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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Syria: Aleppo and the Iran IRGC Quagmire

by Amir Basiri (writer), , May 26, 2016

Iran’s policy of expansionism and meddling in the Middle East is facing a major impasse, especially after the establishment of the International Islamic Coalition for the war against Daesh (ISIS).

By Amir Basiri

The Revolutionary Guards of Iran has entered a phase of complete disappointment in its ongoing campaign in Aleppo, losing control of the Syria war and now resorting to old threats of closing the Strait of Hormuz upon American ships.

Aleppo is the new term used across the region for the Levant war. This city has become the scene of a devastating war not only involving Syrians, but a conglomerate of fighters from regional and international countries seeking their own concessions. In the meantime, we recently witnessed various parties unprecedentedly engaged in “hit-and-run” negotiations.

Both foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Jordan have met with their American counterpart. Moreover, the U.N. special envoy rushed to Moscow to meet with the top Russian diplomat, who himself is constantly talking over the phone with his American partner.

This entails a flurry of activity by Germany and France seeking to invite various parties for an emergency Friends of Syria session. The request made by France and the United Kingdom to the U.N. Security Council to hold an emergency session over the events in Aleppo. Reports issued by international human rights organizations discussing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Aleppo. An emergency Arab League session. The proposal of referring the Aleppo crimes dossier to The Hague, and the adoption of this measure with a majority vote excluding Lebanon, choosing to abstain. The invitation placed by the foreign ministers of France, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey to hold a session in Paris with signs of other top diplomats joining their ranks. All this resembled a major political blitzkrieg desperately seeking an end to the war.

The war in Syria is spiraling out of control and into adrift, according to some experts, exacerbating the already intense crisis. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry summarized the undeniable truth in one such short sentence. The nature of the forces involved in Aleppo is quite vast and expansive, maybe including all countries of the globe. The question is are the interests of Iran and Bashar Assad also soared out of control in this war?

It is not the first time that the Syria crisis has reached such a point of no return. The world witnessed such an atrocious situation following the use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta when the Assad regime crossed the “red” line set by U.S. President Barack Obama. We all remember that day, of which the world had warned about. Warships were positioning for their attacks and talks had begun of imminent attacks in the British Parliament, U.S. Congress and French National Assembly. Iran and Russia, however, rushed to present a plan of Syria handing over all its chemical weapons to rein in the Syria war, and ultimately maintain Assad on the throne in Damascus.

As options are becoming few and perilous, without a doubt the entire world is ready to unleash a major regional military campaign aimed at annihilating Daesh (ISIS - ISIL). This may actually include a scenario of a regional/international force associated to the global coalition for the fight against Daesh (with all its Arab and Islamic branches) occupying areas in Syria and Iraq. This could become a reality after the establishment of a joint Geneva-based U.S.-Russia war room to control the ceasefire in Syria.

Ever since the signing of the Iran nuclear agreement, Tehran has entered a new phase of meddling in the Middle East. Iran continues to face numerous sanctions due to the measures taken by the IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah. Moreover, Iran is suffering huge setbacks in Yemen and Iraq, and Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani has heard slogans against himself and Iran across the region. To add insult to injury, the IRGC suffered a major defeat in the most recent parliamentary elections in Iran. Former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, known or his very close ties to Iran, is falling further into the shadows in Iraqi politics, and Iran is witnessing more members of its terrorist networks and cells being arrested in Europe and the U.S. Iran’s policy of expansionism and meddling in the Middle East is facing a major impasse, especially after the establishment of the International Islamic Coalition for the war against Daesh (ISIS - ISIL). Iran failed in its missions in Syria and Iraq, especially in a campaign aimed to crush the Syrian opposition. Foreign fighters are showing signs of reticence to fight for Assad in Syria. Tehran has thus resorted to seeking support from Russia in Syria, with reports also indicating similar measures in Yemen.

Anyhow, the Iran IRGC, reeling from major setbacks, has entered a phase of utter disappointment, and is losing control over the war in Syria. The recent casualties suffered in Aleppo is a sign of this bitter truth. Desperate to regain its previous stature, the IRGC has once again threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz upon American ships. This is nothing but yet another sign of the quagmire deepening and further engulfing the Iran Revolutionary Guards.

Amir Basiri is an Iranian human rights activist and supporter of democratic regime change in Iran. Follow him on Twitter: @Amir_bas



About the Writer

Amir Basiri is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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