Well informed political sources revealed that Iran withdrew Revolutionary Guard units in Syria, moving them to Iraq after Russian- Iranian dispute escalated in Syria.
An Iraqi political source, who requested anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Russia wants the Syrian battlefield exclusively to itself, and that Iran coincidently feels it is being forced to retract from Syrian grounds.
The source later concluded, “Iran is throwing its forces’ weight onto Iraqi ground, by shifting large numbers of its Guard troops here (Iraq)”.
“After Hezbollah’s commander Samir Kuntar was killed by an Israeli airstrike in Damascus, several facts surrounding the Russian-Iranian relationship were exposed. It is evident that Russia is more concerned with Israel’s interests over those of Iran or Syria, which directly affects the Russia–Syria–Iran–Iraq coalition (RSII coalition),” the source added.
He also added that Prime Minister Abadi approving the entry of American Special Forces into Iraq to support the operation to free Ramadi – shunning the Popular Mobilization Forces and other armed factions, especially those affiliated with Iran, can be interpreted as the end of the RSII coalition.
Meanwhile in Ramadi, Iraqi forces on Thursday were approximately 500 meters away from the government complex.
Operation commander in Anbar province Major General Ismail al-Mahalawi told Asharq Al-Awsat “Explosives spread around the Hoz and al-Thuba’t neighborhoods slowed down the movement of the security forces toward the government complex in the city’s center. Our armed divisions lead by counterterrorism panel forces are now advancing slowly and cautiously, after ISIS militants planted explosives abundantly within the area surrounding the city’s center.”