Syria – Visit of Quds Force Commander (22 September)

Quds Force commander Esmail Qaani recently visited eastern Syria and Damascus, met with senior officials, observed joint training, and carried out field patrols. Qaani is in the habit of visiting “proxy countries” frequently. Some of his visits are secret and some are public. When the visit is made public, it is usually a visit to Iraq or Syria, like the current one. Qaani also makes secret visits to these countries, which are not publicly acknowledged.

It should be noted that Qaani also “visits” with the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon, but his physical visits in Yemen and Lebanon are usually carried out in secret and without public indications affirming his stay.

Qaani’s current visit to Syria comes at an interesting time (and probably not coincidentally) as the Arab tribes in eastern Syria, which announced the establishment of a new militia in the Deir ez-Zor area called the Hashemite Tribes Battalion, under the command of Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, are fighting the Kurdish forces (supported by the Americans) are working to strengthen their control in the area east of the Euphrates River. The Iranians have a clear interest in supporting and strengthening this militia at the expense of the Kurds.

In addition, on September 18, near the Iranian Imam Ali base, west of the city of Al-Bukamal in eastern Syria, forces belonging to the Shiite axis carried out extensive military maneuvers, including firing short-range missiles, with the participation of operatives who arrived in buses from Iraq through the Al-Bukamal crossing (possibly under the guise of pilgrims to the holy sites in Syria). Qaani visited this exercise, among other things.

Above: The area of the Imam Ali base (divided into three compounds) near Al-Bukamal
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Tal Beeri

Tal Beeri

One Response

  1. Recent reports are that the U.S. has increased helicopter attacks on Iranian proxies in Syria. Plus, as part of the $6 billion deal US made to free its hostages, Iran supposedly agreed to stop its proxies firing on the 900 U.S. troops stationed there. This does nothing to help the Kurds, but it’s a factor bc Iran has to calculate to making some visible efforts to curb its proxies or its larger goals will be stymied by the US.

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