IRGC chief insists no withdrawal from Syria
The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said Wednesday (January 16th) there would be no withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria, AFP reported.
"All military and revolutionary advisers, as well as equipment and weapons necessary for training and empowering the Islamic resistance fighters and for supporting the oppressed people of Syria... will be kept there," the Fars news agency quoted Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari as saying.
It was an apparent response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Tuesday warned Iran to remove its forces from Syria.
Israel has pledged to prevent Iran entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Iran is backing President Bashar al-Assad's regime alongside Russia and Lebanon’s Hizbullah.
In a rare public confirmation on Sunday, Netanyahu said Israel had attacked Iranian and Hizbullah targets in Syria hundreds of times, including "warehouses containing Iranian weapons in the Damascus international airport" over the weekend.
Tehran denies sending regular troops to fight in Syria, saying it has only provided military advisers and militia fighters from various countries.