This blog post was published on November 20 2011. §
Iran’s “silent” preparation for a war in Syria — “Iraq is the buffer state”
In an operation called “Destroying the Illusion”, Syrian army established a 20 km military zone, deployed thousands of tanks, artillery and missiles along the borders with Turkey and Jordan. That is few hours after the arrival of an Iranian military advisers delegation in an official visit to Syria. Notice that the above link says that there is no need to deploy the Syrian army near the Iraq-Syria border because there is no presence of gunmen in the area.
Few days ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a meeting with the Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Gen. Babakir Zebari, stressed that the Iraqi and Iranian people have long enjoyed close ties in the face of what he called “the forces of arrogance”. This announcement from Ahmadinejad came days after Iran urged Iraq to military cooperation “against the common enemies in the region and beyond”.
Since then, there are many reports of the escalating arms smuggling from Iran to Shiite militias in Iraq.
Iraqi military sources revealed that the Iranian Chief of Staff formally expressed Iran’s readiness to manage the Iraqi military bases that are abandoned by the US troops after the withdrawal.
The sources indicated that Iran had asked the Iraqi government to control all air bases as quickly as possible because Iran is concerned that some air bases with large runways can be used by the foreign warplanes.
politically and logistically
Baghdad is not only officially opposes the internationalisation of the Syrian crisis and the imposing an economic sanction on Damascus, the Iraqi government even promised Syria and Iran to prevent the flow of weapons from Iraq to Syria and to prevent Syrian refugees from crossing the Iraq-Syria border. Maliki’s position irritated the US saying [link above]:
The Iraqi government came under pressure from a regional state to support Assad regime at the time the whole world is betting on the democratic change in Iraq.
UAE newspaper reported that Iran offered a cooperation with the Sunni tribes in Anbar Province to provide a safe passage to support Assad regime in Syria in exchange for Tehran supports the Sunnis demands from the Iraqi Government.
Iraqi government received “orders” from Iran to open its media offices in the Syrian capital Damascus, the media offices will be supported financially by Iran.
There is no mention of Syria in Ammar Al-Hakim [leader of the Supreme Islamic Council, who is known with his connections with Iran] in speech last Friday [that is the day after the Arab Leagues decision to an ultimatum to Syria], but interestingly he asked to “reform” the AL in way that suits the current changes in Arab countries.
Muqatda Al-Sadr officially is still in Iran-Qom but he released a “bizarre” position; He is sympathetic with the Syrian demonstrators but let Assad’s regime stays.
Yet, prepared for the worst and in case of a regional war, all what Iran needs are few Supreme Clerics to declare Jihad [and not relying on Sistani only]. This is reported a week ago by all Iraqi media:
10 Supreme-clerics Ayatollahs arrived from Qom-Iran to settle permanently in Najaf-Iraq, among them Iraq’s Maliki “Dawa Party” new Supreme reference Al-Shahrudi [after the death of the former Dawa Party’s reference Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah].
Why this is important? The name Ayatollah Al-Shahrudi is associated with Militias and guerrilla warfare. this is a tiny biography:
Associated with the religious leader institution in Iran and has been appointed head of the judiciary in Iran for eight years and a member of the Guardian Council of Iran, as well as a member of the Expediency Discernment Council in Iran.
He is the first leader of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and the architect of the relation between the Supreme Council and the Iranian authorities from the 80’s until the fall of the Iraqi regime.