Report: Iran Withdrawing Special Forces From Syria as Tensions With Russia Intensify
Iran has started to withdraw its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces from Syria, the Saudi-aligned London-based daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Sunday.
Among the reasons for the retreat cited in the report is the heavy losses suffered by Iran during the two months since Russia has begun conducting military operations there.
According to the report, one Free Syrian Army officer claimed that tensions between the Russians and Iranians have been mounting, due to near-daily casualties incurred by the latter, purportedly as a result of the former’s pushing for increased ground operations. The officer said he learned of this while eavesdropping on their communications.
Reports have also been circulating that the commander of the IRGC-Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, was seriously wounded during a battle in Aleppo.
In addition, citing Iranian media sources, Al Arabiya reported recently that four IRGC members were “erroneously” killed in a Russian airstrike this week.
Iran has long been backing the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the years old civil war plaguing the country that has now left hundreds of thousands dead.