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Iran Plans to Secure Corridor towards Mediterranean | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Syrian regime soldiers drive past the arch of triumph in the historic city of Palmyra on April 1, 2016. (Reuters)

Beirut, London – Syria’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) admitted on Monday that Iran has increased its “infiltration” in Syria to protect a land corridor towards the Mediterranean Sea, at a time when the Syrian regime sent Palestinian militias to Deir Ezzor.

Last week in Geneva, the HNC handed UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura a document, seen by Asharq Al-Awsat, saying that regime forces “had issued a paper on April 6, approved by head of the regime, concerning the creation of groups that should join the Iranian forces to fight along the Assad forces.”

The document said these forces will be known by the name of “regiments for local defense in the provinces” and would increase the Iranian infiltration in Syria.

The document added: “We can now say that the Iranian presence in Syria has strategic objectives to expand Tehran’s powers in the Middle East and to secure supply lines for its arm (Hezbollah) in Lebanon, and therefore assure a permanent access point to the Mediterranean Sea.”

On Sunday, reports said Iranian militias affiliated with the Syrian regime had continued to infiltrate the desert towards where the borders where Jordan, Syria and Iraq meet, to get closer to the US-linked al-Tanf military camp.

Meanwhile, reports on Monday said that groups from the Quds Brigade, also known as Liwa al-Quds, were preparing to move from Aleppo towards Deir Ezzor and Palmyra.

Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday: “Just a few days ago, groups from the Quds Brigade located in Aleppo, have started moving to participate in the Palmyra desert battles and the military operation, through which regime forces aim to advance towards the administrative borders of Deir Ezzor.”