International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi left Syria on Sunday with rebels claiming his mission to resolve the conflict would only end in failure. Fighting continued to rage across the country as more than five million pupils returned to school.
Fighting raged in Syria's two biggest cities on Sunday as UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi ended his first visit to the country on a peace mission a rebel commander said was doomed to fail.
Iran confirms military presence in Syria
Members of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are in Syria providing non-military assistance, IRGC commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said during a press conference on Sunday, adding that his forces were prepared to take action in the event Syria was attacked.
The statement is the first official acknowledgement from a senior military official that Iran has a military presence on the ground in Syria where an uprising has left tens of thousands dead since it began 18 months ago.
Western countries and Syrian opposition groups have accused Iran of providing weapons and expertise to Syrian armed forces and have suspected an Iranian military presence inside the country. Iran has denied this.
The Islamic Republic has backed President Bashar al-Assad since the crisis began and regards his rule as a key part of its axis of resistance against Israel and Sunni Arab states.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Date created : 2012-09-16