Rezaie’s comments today were meant to dispel expectations that Iran was prepared to deploy tens of thousands of ground forces to Syria in response to recent battlefield victories by the opposition. The number of Quds Force and IRGC advisers and specialists currently deployed to Syria is probably in hundreds not thousands. The Quds Force has so far relied on Hezbollah and other foreign Shia militia fighters to provide the ground troops to do the fighting. Deploying thousands of ground troops would have been a major shift in that strategy, which has been in use for more than four years of the Syrian civil war.
File photo: IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohsen Rezaie (second from right) at a commencement ceremony at Imam Hossein Military academy in Tehran, 20 May 2015 (leader.ir/ISNA)