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The Syria Debacle
Iranians Prepare Major Combat Offensives in Syria

Looks like Washington has been caught flat-footed in Syria again. The Times of London reports:

Thousands of Iranian troops have been flown into an airbase in Latakia for deployment to the front lines in Idlib, where heavy fighting with rebels is under way. Others are being moved towards Aleppo, where they will join a ground offensive involving regime forces and Hezbollah fighters in the coming days, according to Iranian sources.

Reports of Iranian troops on the ground in Syria have been mounting in recent weeks, with Iran confirming the death of several Iranian officers killed in combat outside Aleppo last week. Though an unnamed Obama Administration official has said that figures for the number of Iranian troops deployed overstate the reality by an order of magnitude, that misses the point.

Whatever the final figure ends up being, the Obama Administration’s apparent determination to downplay the significance of Iran’s contribution to the fight could be a grave miscalculation. When you have so many forces on so many scattered battlefronts, even a few hundred well-equipped, professionally trained, fresh troops can make a significant difference if you use them well. Thousands of such troops, if the numbers indeed reach that high, could help tip the regional balance, making President Obama’s public predictions of failure seem… premature at best.

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  • wigwag

    The $64 thousand question is whether Iranian soldiers or even Hezbollah soldiers from Lebanon are willing to fight and die to protect Assad and his heretical Shia co-religonists. Who will be more motivated and who will fight harder, fanatical Sunni or fanatical Shia?

    The answer isn’t obvious.

    • f1b0nacc1

      I would suggest that if the Iranians are sending proxies, they would be likely to send reliable ones.

  • Fat_Man

    “The Times of London” refers to the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United Kingdom. It is the platonic form that all other newspapers that call themselves the “Times” seek to instantiate. When referring to newspapers, the Times published at London, England, UK is called the Times without a geographic predicate. All other newspapers that have Times on their masthead must have a geographic predicate, e.g. LA Times, NY Times, Times of India.

    • CosmotKat

      What is your point, pray tell?

    • Andrew Allison

      “The Times” ;<)}

  • Jim__L

    Is there anyone in DoD, CIA, or State anymore that understands how to run a proxy war? If there were, we could *make* Putin fail.

    I’m not convinced Putin will fail without efficacious action on the part of the US.

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