Iran will send 4,000 Revolutionary Guard troops to Syria to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, The Independent reported on Sunday.The Independent
The decision to send soldiers to Syria was taken last week prior to Friday's Iranian presidential election which saw cleric Hassan Rohani defeat a number of more conservative candidates.
quoted pro-Iranian sources as saying that Iran has proposed to open up a front against Israel on the Golan Heights as part of efforts to preserve Assad's regime in Syria.
The report comes after the US announced on Thursday
that it will begin to arm the Syrian opposition in the face of evidence that Assad used chemical weapons against rebels on multiple occasions.
Iran has been Assad's most staunch supporter and has admitted in the past
that Revolutionary Guard forces were active in Syria, helping the regime in its fight against rebels.
Upon news of Rohani's victory in the Iranian presidential election, the opposition Syrian National Coalition called on the new Iranian leader to drop the Islamic Republic's support for Assad.
"For more than two years of the Syrian revolution, the Iranian authorities have stood against the aspirations of the Syrian people by continuing to support the criminal Assad regime politically, militarily and economically," AFP quoted the group as saying in a statement.
The Coalition urged Rohani to "reform Iran's position... before it is too late," according to AFP, adding that "the will of the Syrian people is invincible and will not fail because of outside intervention."