Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi says the Islamic Republic has no military presence in Syria. The Iranian commander told reporters on Thursday that Tehran’s official position is to fully defend Syria despite having no military presence in the country. Firouzabadi said the militants in Syria are either hired or invited from various Arab countries to fight under the al-Qaeda flag. “Of course some of the militants are Syrian nationals but they are emotional youth who have been manipulated by al-Qaeda,” the Iranian commander added. When asked about Iran’s reaction to a possible Western attack on Syria, Firouzabadi said Western states should save themselves the headache of a military attack on Syria.
“Not because Iran will react [to this attack] but because the Syrian government is not alone and has a nation [behind it]…; a nation [that] cannot be fought and a nation [which its] rights cannot be taken away,” he added.Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil. The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting in Syria are foreign nationals. MP/HGH/SS