Iran sent trainers and advisers to Syria in order to help Bashar Assad's government clamp down on anti-regime protests, The Washington Post reported on Friday. Syria is one of Iran's strongest and most important allies in the region.

According to the report, the aid is not limited to riot gear and manpower, but also includes surveillance equipment that helps the Syrian government follow activists in their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

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Iran reportedly sent trained officials who had experience following the so-called "Green Revolution" in 2009 which had threatened the Ahmadinejad government following elections which had seen his victory.