London- Addressing the European Union lawmakers in Brussels on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose country supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, dismissed media allegations that Iran has sent troops to Syria to fight for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying Tehran has no “boots on the ground” but only “military advisers” at the request of the Syrian government.
“There we have military advisers at the request of the government of this country (Syria). We will move out military advisers when the local government deems it necessary for us to remove them,” he pointed out.
He said Syria has a “legitimate” government which is also recognized by the United Nations, adding, “Those who are conducting measures in Syria without a mandate by a legitimate government are violating international regulations.”
He stressed the importance of cessation of conflict in Syria, saying it is the Syrian nation who should decide their own fate.
Zarif emphasized that regional countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, cannot determine the outcomes of Syria peace talks, saying, “We will not make any decision for the Syrian people. They cannot also decide for the Syrian people.”
Zarif said Iran’s “regional neighbors” must abandon their “illusion” that the Syria issue has a military solution.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative to the IRGC, Ali Saidi, said that the Revolutionary Guards have no intentions to send a large number of its forces to Syria, considering the role of the Revolutionary Guards Forces, whom he described as “advisers”, comes in a specific framework.
Saidi defended the policy of the IRGC in sending troops to support Assad’s regime in the war waged in Syria. He tried to justify why a large number of forces from
the Revolutionary Guards are dying in Syria compared to the first Gulf War against Iraq saying: “the war in Syria is a street war and nothing is organized in it regardless of the circumstances that totally differ from wars that take place in the borders of two countries.”
Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari has lately stated that he is not going to send more troops although the members of the ground forces in IRGC are competing to participate in Syria. Mohammad Ali Jafari also refused internal criticisms on the participation of the IRGC in the fight, describing them as “naïve”.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani said that sending troops to Syria with no consent from Damascus will only make the situation worse in the war-torn country.
He commented on regional countries sending ground troops to Syria saying that the solution in Syria should be political.