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Javad Ghaffari 'architect' of Iran's plan for Syria

By Waleed Abu al-Khair in Cairo

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Iranian general Javad Ghaffari is the mastermind who directs the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' arms in Syria. [Photo circulated online]

The name of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Javad Ghaffari has become synonymous with the implementation of Iran's plan in Syria, Syrians with knowledge of the situation tell Diyaruna.

From his base in south-east Aleppo, Ghaffari -- also known as Sayyed Javad and Haj Javad Ghaffari -- oversees all militias Iran has formed to fight on its behalf in Syria, said Saleh al-Afisi, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) officer in rural Aleppo province.

"The IRGC commander moves and distributes the elements of sectarian militias from countries such as Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, to implement the IRGC's plan to establish a land route connecting Tehran with Beirut," he said.

This intervention stems not from the IRGC's love of Syria or its regime, but its determination to implement its expansionist plan in the Middle East, he noted.

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Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been providing aid to some parts of Syria in what observers say is an attempt to secure support for its presence in the country and implement its expansionist plan in Syria and the region. [Photo courtesy of Sheyar Turko]

The IRGC has an important military base in Aleppo, the Sheikh Najjar barracks, its largest in the region, and IRGC-affiliated militias control several areas of the city, especially in its eastern section, al-Afisi said.

This includes the districts of al-Mashhad, Bashkoy, al-Sakhour, al-Haidariya, Masakin Hananou and al-Shaar.

These Iran-backed groups are known for their excessive use of force in all areas of Syria where they have a presence, he said, including in densely populated areas.

"What is happening in Eastern Ghouta is the clearest proof of the systematic criminality" perpetrated by these groups, he said.

The 'architect' of Iran's plan

Ghaffari is the architect of the Iranian plan in Syria, Syrian journalist Mohammed al-Abdullah told Diyaruna.

He is the mastermind who directs the IRGC's arms on Syrian territory, fully independent of the Syrian regime, despite the attempts of IRGC media outlets to show this is being done in support of the Syrians or the regime, he said.

IRGC-affiliated militias operating in Syria have made use of excessive force in combat and in sweep operations with no regard for international and humanitarian laws, al-Abdullah said.

"The biggest evidence of this is what happened in the battles of Aleppo, and what is happening now in rural Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta, where these militias play a leading role in the fighting," he said.

Ghaffari, also known as "the butcher of Aleppo", was transferred to Syria in mid-2014 and came to prominence during the battles of Aleppo and its siege, he said. He is known for his use of excessive force without distinction between civilians and military targets.

In 2016, he was said to have been behind obstructing the efforts to evacuate opposition fighters and civilians from besieged areas in east Aleppo, according to al-Abdullah.

Ghaffari commands "Battalion 18,000" with the assistance of his deputy Abu Bagher, he said.

He also commands a special unit consisting of 7,000 fighters of various nationalities, including Iraqis, Iranian, Syrians, Lebanese, Afghans and Pakistanis, he added.

Ghaffari took command over most units of Lebanon's Hizbullah, Iraq's al-Nujaba brigade, the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade and Pakistani Zainabiyoun Brigade after the death of former IRGC commander Hussein Hamadni in Syria under mysterious circumstances.

"The size of the force consisting of these groups under his direct control is estimated at 15,000 fighters at the very least, and the movement of non-Syrian fighters from Iraq and Iran is carried out under his direct supervision," al-Abdullah said.

Bringing about demographic change

One of the fundamental elements of the Iranian plan is to bring about demographic change in many Syrian areas, Syrian lawyer Bashir al-Bassam told Diyaruna.

Iran, through its direct military intervention, is carrying out a wide-scale displacement of Syrians, either by moving them to other areas or forcing them to leave Syria altogether, he said.

"The aim is to empty parts of Damascus and its rural areas, Aleppo, Hama and Deir Ezzor of Sunnis and replace them with Syrian and non-Syrian Shia," he said.

This move is designed to ensure Iran's presence in the country for a long time to come, he said, and to contain any opposition to its presence or expansion.

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8 Comment(s)
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First of all, how is it that [you don't call] Erdoğan, Jolani, Shishani, and Baghdadi as terrorists, and yet you call these people, who have gone away from their families only for the satisfaction of God and defending Islam and resistance, as "mercenaries" and "butchers"? Had you thought on your article just a little bit before writing it, you would have known that ISIS, Al-Nusra, and Jaysh al-Hurr are way more similar to butchers, compared to these who have gone to Syria to protect Muslims lives, and didn't even want to harm any women or children of terrorists. You said that he did not allow people to leave Aleppo when it was besieged. [Here is what happened:] terrorists agreed that as they were leaving the town, people of Al Fu'ah could also leave with them. So, when they were fleeing in the middle of the night, this man, Mr. Ghaffari, stopped them to protect the lives of residents of Al Fu'ah. Your information is so ... Because, this picture belongs to Mr. Rahmani, the IRGC's political adviser.

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Long live brother!
Seyyed Javad is everyone's beloved!

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I'm a friend and a neighbor of Haj Javad Ghaffari and I see him every day. He has never set foot in Syria. I do not know how he was killed, nor do I know if he even was a military adviser in Syria.

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These are completely false statements. Iran is in Syria based on the invitation of that country and for the purpose of providing consultative services. These are similar to the words of the ISIS or Israel.

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What are these non-senses?

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Iran is defending Syria for several reasons, including the presence of Hezbollah in Lebanon to fight Israel when Arabs became cowards and surrendered to the Zionist enemy. Another reason is that the Syrian regime supported Iran in the past; it did some favours to Iran when Saddam invaded that country. The entire world was with Saddam, except for Syria which was with Iran. There is also the danger of terrorism in Syria against both Iraq and Iran. That’s why Iran is fighting terrorism in Syria and Iraq. It’s actually defending itself because ISIS is after Shias. Before ISIS, Wahhabis had the goal of destroying Iraq and Iran because they’re two Shiite countries. As a result, Iran intervened in self-defence, and this is acceptable both under Sharia and habits.

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I think he was killed by IRGC personnel.

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I like your articles and news about what’s happening in the world. I would be honoured to see your channel or news bulletins. Thanks for the management.

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