Which forces IRGC deployed in Syria?

Which forces IRGC deployed in Syria?

The partial withdrawal of the Russian Air Force from Syria created a lack of firepower in fighting against militants. To deal with the shortage, Iran announced that Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution will send a limited operational force to Syria. Brig. Gen. Ali Arasteh Noted especially Brigade 65: “Brigade 65 is a part of our army’s ground force and we are dispatching soldiers from Brigade 65, as well as other units, as advisers to Syria. This dispatch is not limited to commandos of Brigade 65, as advisers of Brigade 65 are already there.”

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It is important to note, it was the first time that Official Iranian authorities publicly spoke about Iran’s military operations against the Islamic-State and other militants in Syria.

Who is 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade?

Its original core was formed in the 1950s, when the army sent 10 senior officers to France for parachuting training. The “Green Berets” 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade was established in 1959 and was part of 23rd Commando Division. It glory the brigade gained during Iraq-Iran war participating in major operations such as Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas and Operation Karbala-5, and had activities in strategic mountains of Dopaza and Laklak in Sardasht, and in western regions in general. Some units of the brigade were present in Siege of Abadan. Also Brigade 65 participated in various clashes in provinces of Khuzestan, Sistan-o-Baluchestan (fighting drug trafficking and terrorism), and Kordestan.

NOHED_emblem.svg.pngTheBrigade specialized in hostage rescue missions, irregular warfare, psychological warfare and support and may perform tactical missions abroad. One of its training camps is located in jungles of Kelardasht, in which jungle warfare is trained during spring. The winter training camp is in Emamzadeh Hashem, in which there is a ski resort dedicated to the brigade, used for training snow warfare. The summer camp is located at Karaj Dam. Another camp is located in the desert of Qom, in which desert warfare is trained.

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Syrian-government sources reported that the brigade deployed alongside Lebanese and Iraqi Hezbollah during fighting against Jabhat al-Nusra in Al-Eis. Iranian classifications put the size of brigades at about 6,000 to 7,000 troops. Thus, it is probable that about 100 to 200 Brigade 65 commandos have been deployed to Syria. During the fighting in south Aleppo the brigade lost number of its soldiers.

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Evidence of involvement of additional Iranian units Stems from casualties from other units like, the 45th and 258th Special Forces, 33th Airborne Special Forces Brigade “Al-Mahdi”-fighters from this unit were killed mostly in Al-Zabadani area near Qalamoun Mountains during summer 2015, Fatemiyoun Brigade (Afghan Hezbollah), Liwa Zainebiyoun Brigade (Pakistan Hezbollah) and 338th Mechanized Infantry Division. There are also noticeable losses among IRGC high officer ranks.

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Casualties from “Al-Mahdi” 33th Airborne Special Forces Brigade during Battle of Zabadani, Summer 2015.

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Morteza Zarharan from 258 Airborne Special Forces Brigade, Killed in South Aleppo, Syria

Casualties from 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade, Killed in South Aleppo, Syria.

Colonel Mashalloah Shamesh, Brig. General Hasanali Shamsabadi and Colonel Ali Taheri killed, Killed in South Aleppo, Syria.

-Interestingly to note two groups of IRGC “Foreign fighters” which are fighting in Syria,

684.jpg-Liwa Zainebiyoun (People of Zainab Brigade) is a contingent of Pakistani Shi’a fighters in Syria, officially fighting to defend the Sayyida Zainab shrine in Damascus claiming that it draws on Afghan Shi’a based in Pakistan. Due to the relatively small size there is not much information about the unit. The unit casualties in syria is the only record of their existence as a military force.

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-Fatemiyoun Brigade also known as the Fatemiyoun Division, and is an Afghanistani Shia militia formed in 2014 to fight for in Syria. The Division primarily recruits from the approximately 3 million Afghan refugees in Iran many are illiterate. This unit also fought in the liberation Palmyra and has the heaviest amount of losses

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Persian writing in Palmyra area :”Herat boys of Fatemiun were here. Ya Zeynab”

 

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NATO continues to increase its forces in Eastern Europe what puts the West and Russia in arms race

NATO continues to increase its forces in Eastern Europe what puts the West and Russia in arms race

Some background, NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance based on agreement which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. Its main purpose was to defend each other from the possibility of communist Soviet Union taking control of their nation. The Alliance includes, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. The optimal plan of NATO for expansion is from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

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It is important to note, there is a parallel Russian organization, CSTO-Collective Security Treaty Organization is an is an intergovernmental military alliance that was signed on 15 May 1992. The CSTO Including Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

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As part of the Germany ruination in 1989 The Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its forces And NATO promise not to expand the organization. Non-compliance of NATO commitments is the root cause to tension in Eastern Europe today.

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Instead of limiting the expansion of the organization and enter into a dialogue with Russia relating to limit arms amounts, Brussels rapidly continues to increase the number of it troops in the Baltic States on the border areas with Russia (The amount forces has increased by 4 times). Also NATO is planning to create a “four fleet” which will be positioned in the Black Sea and until 2017 sand more 150 armored units and 4000 soldiers.

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But not soldiers or armor amounts will determine the results of armed conflict between Russia and United States but their nuclear arsenal, ability of it transfer and missile defense systems. The Pentagon continues to increase its missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. Transfer the center of confrontation between Russia and the West to Europe is an American interest.

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USA State Department spokesman John Kirby said: “The air defense system in Europe … is defensive in nature and it’s not aimed at Russia, not targeted at Russia. You can’t target a defensive system at anybody. And as for the systems and the initiatives that the Pentagon spoke to in that hearing, I would point you to them.” Then he added: “we are developing and implementing a strategy to address Russian military actions that includes modifying and expanding air defense systems to deny Russia offensive capabilities.”

Washington is using the alleged Russian violations of the INF treaty as a pretext to launch the new Pentagon’s “defense” strategy. The INF was a 1987 agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union aimed at eliminating nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges between 500–5,500km. The treaty did not cover sea launched missiles.

My conclusion within the alliance, the cultural differences among NATO countries can challenge The principle of “one for all and all for one”. Joint harnesses against a third party will be a test case and may leave the United-States alone in open confrontation with Russia.

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Despite his age BGM-71 “TOW” still an effective weapon on the battlefield in the Middle-East

Despite his age BGM-71 “TOW” still an effective weapon on the battlefield in the Middle-East

Syrian opposition ATGM arsenal includes different types, Soviet/Russian made like 9M14 “Malyutka”, 9K111 “Fagot”, 9M113 “Konkurs”, 9K115-2 “Metis-M”, 9M133 “Kornet”, Chinese made HJ-8, France/Germany made “MILAN”, but the most prominent is the United-States made BGM-71 “TOW”.

I want to focus on the last one; BGM-71 “TOW” (Tube, Optically, Wire) missiles are guided missiles that could thoroughly damage tanks, armored carriers, and other vehicles and can be used from a considerable distance. The “TOW” was spotted as early as April 2014 during the Syrian Civil War.

The delivery of the “TOW” missiles to Syria, Saudi official confirmed delivery of 500 “TOW” antitank missiles to the “Free Syrian Army” and have also been provided by the CIA under a program of military support for “vetted” Syrian groups that has in some cases included military training by the U.S.A Central Intelligence Agency. Therefore it is not surprising to see “TOW” ATGM with many different FSA units, Hazzm Movement, Ahmad al-Abdo Martyrs Brigades, the 13th Division, 1st Coastal Division, Syria Revolutionaries Front, Yarmouk Army, Knights of Justice Brigade, and the 101st Division.maxresdefault.jpg

During April South Aleppo offensive Syrian Arab Army carries notable losses in armor; militants are fiercely resisting and actively using “TOW” ATGM, Which reminds the “Tank massacre” carried out by “FSA” on October 2015 as a response to Syrian Arab Army large offensive backed by Russian air-force to retake northern portions of Hama province. Then Syrian army lost over 15 armored cars, vehicles, and tanks. Wide loss in armor forced Syrian army to change the nature of their offense.

In February 2016, a video appeared of FSA using a “TOW” ATGM to hit a Russian T-90, despite the tank being equipped with the “Shtora”-(Curtain in Russian) soft-kill active protection system which is supposed locate  the electro-optical disruptor and activate smoke screens to disrupt missile tracking, but that didn’t happened. The tank crew survived the successfully hit thanks to “Kontakt-5” explosive reactive armor.

In October 2015 to overcome the losses in armor Syrian army aided by heavy bombardment of the Russian Air Force with partial Russian withdrawal from Syria now it becomes harder to overcome.

Also the Iranian find it effective their “Toophan” ATGM is a reverse-engineered copy of the USA military BGM-71 “TOW” missile. Despite his age BGM-71 “TOW” still an effective weapon on the battlefield in the Middle East and can affects the work of the armored divisions.CXi2bSAWsAEWHwO.jpg

What represents Sayyeda Zaynab to the Shiites?

What represents Sayyeda Zaynab to the Shiites?

For one single slogan “Sayyeda Zaynab” during the Iran-Iraq war, one million Iranians were ready to die.

What represents Sayyeda Zeinab to the Shiites?

The historical aspect, Zaynab bint Ali زينب بنت علي was one of the daughters of Ali ibn Abi Talib علي بن أبي طالب. Ali a was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic Prophet Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh محمد بن عبد الله بن عبد المطلب‎ and member of ahl al-bayt, أهل البيت Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the family of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, Shias regard Ali as the first Imam after Muhammad due to their interpretation of the events at Ghadir Khumm غدير خم it is an Hadith given by Prophet Muhammad.

According to Islamic tradition  الإسراء والمعراج (Within the Holy Qur’an itself, “Sura Al-Isra” سورة الإسراء), the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad travels on the steed AlBurāq  البُراق‎ to “the farthest mosque” where the Prophet Muhammad leads other Prophets in prayer, Then He ascends to heaven. The a debate on who will lead the Muslim world created a Split between Sunna and Shia.

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The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, in the year 61 AH of the Islamic calendar (October 10, 680 AD) in Karbala, in present-day Iraq. The battle took place between a small group of supporters and relatives of Husayn ibn Ali, youngest son of Ali and larger military Opponents. During the battle Imam Husayn was killed and beheaded.

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After the massacre in Karbala Zainab with other women and children was taken to Damascus. Throughout Zainab stay in Damascus she insisted to return to Medina in the Arabian Peninsula. When she was permitted to (According to tradition) she even passed through Karbala to look at the place of the massacre.

Sayyeda Zeinab continued and thus saved the Shiite worthy caliphs dynasty (by Shiites) and thus saved it. In Iran, her birthday is recognized as Nurse’s Day possibly because she nursed children such as Husayn’s son Ali among others, but also because of her taking care of those wounded in the Battle of Karbala. The ritual of majils, or lamentation assembly mourning the deaths of the Prophetic line, is still practised as an integral part of Shia Islam.

Ziyārah زيارة is an Arabic term which literally means “visit”, and is used to refer to a form of pilgrimage to sites associated with Muhammad, his family members and descendants.

The exact date and place of her death is not clear but it is probable that she died in the year 681/682 AD some six months after her return to Medina. Some suggest that her grave can be found within Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque in Damascus, Syria. Alternatively, many Sunnis believe her grave can be found within a different mosque (which also titled “Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque”) that is located in Cairo Egypt.

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The “Arab-Spring” From desire of Democracy to rise of Radical-Islam

The “Arab-Spring” From desire of Democracy to rise of Radical-Islam

Five years after the Arab Spring, the only positive thing it brought to the Islamic world is the experience. Five years of incessant war, thousands of people killed, countries that were torn apart & Economic damage estimated in billions.

Whose fault is in the chaos that surrounded the Middle East?

The cause of the events in the Middle East may be noted on objective factors as demographic explosion, Thousands of unemployed young people which sought to create social and economic change in their countries. Inspired by the Internet these young people saw themselves as part of a Western capitalist culture. Desire for change pushed them to the streets although they were not part of that culture. Today culture difference objectively testifies by the difficulty of these young people to be absorbed in Europe as refuges.

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The United States saw the “Arab-spring” as an opportunity to bring change that will work in its favor in the Middle East. Therefore, for example the USA supported the Muslim-Brotherhood which was headed by Mohammed Morsi during the Egyptian revolution. But very quickly after understanding who was elected, same USA officials have get connected with the Egyptian army and led the second revolution.

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The logic behind this move is simple; The Middle East is mostly run by totalitarian authorities, in this concept totalitarian regime is hostile and combative, conversely democratic government is peaceful Therefore, a change in the Middle East to democracy will bring stability to the region, But democracy is a Western form of government which is not understood in the Middle East.

Coercion to change of the government form in the Middle East makes rise of Radical Islam unavoidable. Born during the Cold War, as side effects of opposition of two methods of government, communism and capitalism Radical Islam has proven to be renewed and deadly force.

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