Sunday, June 16, 2013

Iran to Send 4K Troops to Syria to Support Assad; Decision Was Made Before June 14 Pres. Election

Iran has decided to deploy 4,000 troops to Syria to aid Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in a civil war against rebels, the RIA Novosti (Russian) website reports today (June 16, 2013).

The decision to send a contingent of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria was taken before the June 14 presidential election, which brought reformist-backed cleric Hassan Rouhani to power in Iran.

This comes after Washington announced on June 13 that it will provide support to Syria's rebels, saying it has "high confidence" the Assad regime has used chemical weapons. The Syrian government denied the accusations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on June 14 that U.S. military aid to Syrian rebels may lead to further escalation of violence in Syria. Some 93,000 Syrians have been killed in the the civil war that has been going on in Syria since March 2011.

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