'Iran withdraws elite Qods Force brigade from Syria'

'The Sunday Times' reports Iran has withdrawn 275 members of elite brigade from Syria in face of domestic economic crisis.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 7, 2012 10:02
2 minute read.
Iran revolutionary guards

Iran revolutionary guards_390. (photo credit: Raheb Homavandi/Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Iran has withdrawn 275 members of its elite Qods Force from Syria in the face of its domestic economic crisis, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

The members belong to a brigade known as Unit 400, which fought alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad against Sunni rebels, the report quoted a western intelligence officer as saying. According to The Times, the unit flew out of Syria last week. The report added that the information was confirmed by a relative of a Unit 400 officer.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The withdrawal of Iranian troops from Syria was seen by some as an indicator of waning confidence among Iran’s Shi’ite leaders in Assad’s ability to survive the uprising.

According to The Times, there have been loud complaints about an estimated $5 billion of Iranian money spent to prop up the Assad regime in Damascus.

There are signs that Iran’s oil wealth, which pays for its nuclear program and support for Assad, is eroding. Iran faces new sanctions for failing to cooperate with Western concerns about its nuclear program, and the sanctions are taking its toll, evident in the fall in the value of the rial and soaring food prices.

Last week, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz predicted that Iran's economy is edging towards collapse due to international sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.

"The sanctions on Iran in the past year jumped a level," Steinitz said. "The Iranians are in great economic difficulties as a result of the sanctions," he added.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


A Foreign Ministry document leaked last week also said sanctions had caused more damage to Iran's economy than at first thought and ordinary Iranians were suffering under soaring inflation.

On Saturday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Iran that the international community is ready to impose more sanctions if the country does not begin to address concerns about its nuclear program.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the 
Iranian threat

The first official acknowledgement from a senior military commander that Iran has a military presence on the ground in Syria came last month. Commander-in-chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Mohammad Ali Jafari admitted: "A number of members of the Qods Force are present in Syria."

However, he denied the existence of on the ground assistance, stating, "the IRGC is giving intellectual help and even financial assistance but there is no military presence."

"We all have a responsibility to support Syria and not allow the line of resistance to be broken," Fars news agency, which claims to be independent but which is widely known to have close ties to Iran's Revolutionary Guards, quoted Hossein Taeb, the intelligence unit head, as saying.

Following the admission, Western members of the UN Security Council blasted Iran for providing Assad with weapons to help him crush an 18-month-long uprising by rebels determined to topple his government.

"Iran's arms exports to the murderous Assad regime in Syria are of particular concern," US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told the 15-nation council during a meeting on the world body's Iran sanctions regime.

A UN Security Council panel of independent experts that monitors sanctions against Iran has uncovered several examples of Iran transferring arms to Syria's government. Damascus has accused Qatar and Saudi Arabia of arming rebels determined to topple Assad's government.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations

By YONAH JEREMY BOB