Chief of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi said today "Iran has no military presence in Syria." (Fars News Agency/Press TV, 8 March)
Firouzabadi also said most of rebels in Syria are either "hired or invited" from various Arab countries "to fight under the al-Qaeda flag."
Gen. Firouzabadi did not explain the presence of an Iranian Quds Force general officer in Syria when he was killed in an apparent Israeli air raid, or the presence of Quds Force officers among a group of 48 Iranians taken hostage by the rebel last August, who were later released. Firouzabadi also did not qualify his comments, such as by saying there were no combat troops in Syria. He announced categorically that there was no military presence there.
File photo: Chief of General Staff of Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi (IRNA)