09262018Wed

Syria

Iran Focus

London, 19 Sep - Cargo jets that are suspected to have transported weapons from Iran to Syria have made nearly 200 such flights in the past 12 months, according to flight tracking data.

Israel’s intelligence agencies have previously cited that these flights conducted or arranged by the Iranian and Syrian militaries are key to the transport of weapons from Iran to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Israel has reportedly been the force behind the airstrikes that have hit several airports and warehouses in Syria, shortly after the cargo planes have landed, including on Saturday, when the cargo was being taken off of an Iranian Boeing 747 that had flown from Tehran to Damascus.

Iran must leave Syria

Iran Focus

London, 29 August - There is much talk about removing Iran from Syria and, in recent months, many actors in the Syrian civil war have done their best to force Iran to leave.

Israel has repeatedly shelled Iran-backed forces that are too close to its border, while Russia has called on Iranian forces to move from that border and stated that it doesn’t support Iran’s presence in Syria, despite the fact that they are both fighting to keep the Bashar Assad in power. Meanwhile, the US and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly tried to tempt Assad to kick Iran out.

US-Putin

Iran Focus

London, 25 August - Iranian interests in Syria are systematically being abandoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

John Bolton’s meeting with Israeli officials on Wednesday gives evidence to this. The US National Security Adviser claimed that Putin had told Trump “that he would be content to see Iranian forces all sent back to Iran.” Bolton added that Putin had offered the caveat, “I can’t do it myself.”

It seems that Putin’s interests in Syria are now increasingly divergent from those of Iran.

Iran-Israel-Syria-border

Iran Focus

London, 27 August - At the beginning of the month, Russia announced that it had convinced Iranian forces, including Hezbollah, in Syria to move back from the Israeli border and keep a distance of about 85 kilometres (53 miles), after an escalation of Israeli military strikes against the Iranian-led forces.

However, some are speculating that this retreat by the Iranians will be short-lived. They argue that this retreat is nothing more than a tactical manoeuvre by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in order to reduce tensions for a short period before it returns to the border, citing Iran’s previous consolidation in Lebanon, where the Iran-backed Hezbollah has control.

Trump and Putin

Iran Focus

London, 17 August - Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are reported to have “agreed in principle” that Iranian forces should leave Syria, during their meeting in Helsinki last month.

A US official in the Trump administration spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity about the closed-door meeting in July and explained that both parties agreed about the need for forces from the Iranian military and militias back by Iran to leave the war-torn nation.

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