Chief IRGC general in Syria was ousted on Assad's orders - report

Syrian President Bashar Assad was behind the ousting of the head of the Iranian forces in the country, Javad Ghaffari.

SYRIAN PRESIDENT Bashar Assad addresses members of his country’s parliament in Damascus in August.  (photo credit: SANA/REUTERS)
SYRIAN PRESIDENT Bashar Assad addresses members of his country’s parliament in Damascus in August.
(photo credit: SANA/REUTERS)

Syrian President Bashar Assad has decided to dismiss the commander of  Iranian forces in Syria Javad Ghaffari, Al-Arabiya News Agency reported Wednesday.

Sources in the presidential palace were dissatisfied with Ghaffari's actions and went as far as deeming them a "violation of Syrian sovereignty," the report said. 

The sources said that Ghaffari had been dealing with the smuggling of goods and the establishment of a black weapons market that could compete with the Syrian market.    

In addition, the Saudi news channel Al-Hadath reported that the Syrians blamed the Iranians for taking advantage of Syria's natural and economic resources for its own gain and for evading tax payments to the Syrian regime. It also revealed that on the backdrop of claims of multiple Israeli Air Force attacks, Ghaffari admitted that he had stationed Iranian forces in places that were not approved of by Syria.

 SYRIAN PRESIDENT Bashar Assad (right) meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Damascus, August 29. (credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) SYRIAN PRESIDENT Bashar Assad (right) meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Damascus, August 29. (credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Ghaffari conducted a number of attacks against the US and Israel against the regime's guidelines, which almost lead to an unwanted regional war, including the attack on American targets on October 20 by Iranian-supported militias, the report said.

A Syrian source explained that Ghaffari's dismissal constitutes a decisive blow against former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps head Qasem Soleimani's vision of Iranian hegemony over the strategic area between Iran and Lebanon.