On September 19 2020, the Iran Action Group of the United States Department of State published the report “Outlaw Regime: A Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activities, 2020”. In the foreword to the report, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls Iran as a “radically revolutionary outlaw regime, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism, and the principal driver of instability in the Middle East”.
Tehran has deployed thousands of soldiers on the ground in Syria-including Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Ground Forces and Artesh (Iran’s regular army)-and utilizes locations like Tiyas and Shayrat airfields in Homs and Al-Kiswah base south of Damascus to launch attacks.
The report accuses Iran of propping up the regime of Bashar Al Assad in Syria and states that “Iran has been the Assad regime’s most reliable partner over nearly a decade of involvement in the Syrian conflict, propping up the Syrian regime and extending Assad almost $5 billion in lines of credit and more than $10 billion in funding since 2012.
Tehran has deployed thousands of soldiers on the ground-including both their conventional army (Artesh) and IRGC Ground Forces-while managing militia groups of as many as 10,000 Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani Shia fighters in Syria”.
The report then reprimands Iran of supporting the regime of Assad in Syria despite its condemnable human rights records and its indiscriminate use of chemical weapons on its own civilians and targeting its own infrastructure facilities.
“Iran’s support for the Assad regime has been constant even in the face of the regime’s egregious use of chemical weapons and attacks killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools.
In addition to IRGC and Artesh fighters, Iran’s oldest partner in the region, Hizballah, has been particularly active in Syria during the conflict, sending fighters and commanding militia forces to bolster the regime against opposition forces”.
The US report then states that Iran’s activities in the Syria through its proxies have provided a conducive condition for the re-emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in the war-torn country.
Iran capitalised on the cycle of violence unleashed by the IS in Syria and presented its Shia proxy militias as the saviours of the vulnerable Shia and Alawi population.
However, these Iranian proxies committed grave human rights violations on the Syrian people and convinced vulnerable Sunni populations that ISIS protection was their only recourse. The report then states that Iran exploited the fight against ISIS and the elimination of the ISIS territorial caliphate to expand and deepen its influence and advance its hostile and hegemonic goals.Security analysts contend that through the proxies floated by IRGC in Syria, Iran strives for a larger strategic goal in the Middle East intending to use them for establishing a network of bases and supply routes to increase the flow of weapons and support to foreign proxy forces, including Hezbollah.
Source » newdelhitimes