Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

How Iran Fuels Syria War: Details of the IRGC Command HQ and Key Officers in Syria

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

How Iran Fuels Syria War: Details of the IRGC Command HQ and Key Officers in Syria

Article excerpt

How Iran Fuels Syria War: Details of the IRGC Command HQ and Key Officers in Syria. By the National Council of Resistance of Iran U.S. Representative Office (NCRI-US). Washington, D.C.: NCRI-US, July 2016. 69 pp. $11.95, paper.

Iran Fuels Syria War demonstrates how Tehran is primarily responsible for keeping the fires of civil war burning in Syria. NCRI-US traces the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Syria; the organization shows how the IRGC divides Syria into military zones with the use of tens of thousands of foreign troops under its control. NCRI-US provides precise details of the scope and structure of the Iranian regime's forces in Syria, insight into Tehran's financial investment there, and the casualties it has absorbed.

Much conventional wisdom focuses on Moscow's bombing campaigns, rather than Tehran's foot soldiers. Of course, Russian airpower deserves attention, but without the forces under Tehran's control on the ground, Moscow's air raids would not be so effective helping Bashar al-Assad's army to defeat Syrian oppositionists.

The book's main contribution is the path it offers U.S. policymaking to deal with Iran's influence in Syria. NCRI-US urges a combination of force and diplomacy rather than diplomacy without the credible threat of force-the pattern that characterized the Obama administration's approach.

The book's last chapter offers bold steps to consider. NCRI-US argues that the Iranian regime must be excluded from international negotiations regarding Syria. Without this exclusion, negotiations will be unproductive as the ayatollahs are the main source of escalation and expansion of the fighting. …

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