analysis

Here's How Iranian Airlines Are Violating Sanctions

Nearly two hundred flights have taken off from airfields in the Islamic Republic of Iran to land in Syria since the Iran nuclear deal was announced one year ago, according to publicly available flight-tracking data. These commercial aircraft have almost certainly been ferrying troops and arms that, in conjunction with Russian air strikes and the deployment of thousands of Iranian forces, have staved off defeat for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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The Artesh in Syria: A fundamental shift in Iranian hard power

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Translation: The Artesh's Evolving Rhetoric

The deployment of Artesh Special Forces to Syria marks an evolution in the constitutionally-defined Artesh mission of defending Iran’s borders. It lays the groundwork for further IRGC-Artesh cooperation in other expeditionary deployments, which would be a significant increase in the combat power the Iranian regime might use in the Middle East beyond its borders. It is too soon to assess the effect of this evolution of the Artesh role on its doctrine and military organization, but it bears focused attention and analysis in the coming months.

Iran is muscling up. We should push back

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An Iranian military hardware spree can quickly fuel a Middle East arms race, drive U.S. allies to seek more advanced weapons, and, in the case of Israel, spur development of their own. 

Translation: The Deployment of Artesh Special Forces to Syria

Summary

Soldiers from Iran’s conventional military service, the Artesh, are fighting and dying in Syria. At least three members of the Artesh Special Forces were reported killed on April 11, marking the first time the Artesh has sustained casualties abroad since the Iran-Iraq War.  The decision to deploy Artesh forces underscores Tehran’s expanding support to Damascus, discrediting reports that Iran might be pulling forces out of the conflict.