Iran is raising the stakes in the Syrian conflict. The Wall Street Journal:
Iran is sending commanders from its elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and hundreds of foot soldiers to Syria, according to current and former members of the corps.The personnel moves come on top of what these people say are Tehran’s stepped-up efforts to aid the military of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with cash and arms. That would indicate that regional capitals are being drawn deeper into Syria’s conflict—and undergird a growing perception among Mr. Assad’s opponents that the regime’s military is increasingly strained.
If Iran really does put large numbers of troops into Syria, the Syrian civil war will become a truly international affair. Countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia will lose inhibitions about aiding the rebels more openly and directly if the government is being backed by fighters from Iran.Armed Iranian support for Assad could also change the calculation for the United States. Intervening in a domestic civil war in Syria is one thing. Defeating Iran’s attempts to dominate a neighbor is something else. Iran should think long and hard about this next step.Paradoxically, the more openly Iran intervenes in Syria, the more humiliation it will encounter if Assad does fall. And the more it intervenes in Syria, the likelier it is that an international armed coalition will ensure that the Syrian dictator goes down.