Iranian soldiers carry the coffin of Abdollah Bagheri, a bodyguard of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was killed in Syria, during his funeral in Tehran October 28, 2015/ Reuters

Revolutionary Guards Plan to Stay Quarter of Century in Syria

London-Iran’s Revolutionary Guards uncovered on Thursday a plan to form the “Shi’ite Liberation Army” in Syria under the leadership of Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani to fight on three fronts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
Meanwhile, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri has asked Baghdad during a meeting with Iraqi National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayyad in Tehran to control its borders and prevent any infiltration of fighters to Iran.
General Mohammed Ali Falaki, who leads Iranian forces in Syria, told Mashregh News, a media outlet close to the Revolutionary Guards, on Thursday that forces from the Shi’ite Liberation Army were not only Iranians, but will include Iranian-sponsored militias in the Middle East.
Hinting that Iran plans to establish its own militia in several regional areas, Falaki said: “Iran plans to rely on local forces to recruit members for the Shi’ite Liberation Army.”
The Iranian general has also linked the establishment of this army with the participation of the Revolutionary Guards in Syria’s fighting, asserting that the Shi’ite Liberation Army will remain at the Syrian-Israeli border for up to 23 years in order to complete the strategies of “Wilayat Al-Faqih.”
Falaki denied reports that Iran was paying big sums of money to members of the Revolutionary Guards and other forces fighting in Syria.
The general’s comments come as part of what Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari had announced last January about the presence of 200,000 fighters linked to the Revolutionary Guards in five states- Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Also, Falaki defended Iran for sending Afghan fighters to Syria. He said the participation of Iranian forces in the Syrian battles were limited and was only “consultative,” adding that Tehran has tasked fighters from the Fatemiyon Afghan to fight in Syria.
Falaki explained that Iran aims to train, supply and instruct how to wage battles in Syria.
The general defended the Afghan fighters who had been facing rising criticism. He said: “Afghan fighters, under the leadership of the Revolutionary Guards, are playing a leading role in Syria.”
However, he admitted that Afghans in Iran were subject to neglect and marginalization.
In a linked development, General Baqeri had said on Wednesday that joint committees need to be formed between Iran and Iraq to control the border and prevent the infiltration of terrorists.