Colonel Mustafa Bakkor, a spokesman for Jaysh al-Izza, claimed that Iranian forces in northern Hama are raising Russian flags over their positions in order to “protect themselves from Israeli bombardment.”
“All the military positions of the Assad regime in the norther Hama countryside are hosting Iranian militias from the 313 Brigade –Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)- especially in Halfaya, Khattab’s base, the College of Veterinary Medicine, al-Shalyut, al-Zilaqiyat and Hama airbase,” Bakkor told the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi on December 8.
Earlier this year, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in southern Syria made similar claims and said that Iranian forces there were wearing official uniforms and patches of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to avoid being detected by the Israeli military and intelligence.
Back then, Syrian pro-government activists debunked these claims and said that almost all forces in Syria, including some of the FSA, are using the same uniform. The activists also clarified that the SAA soldiers and officers stopped wearing their patches since late 2011 for security reasons.
Bakkor didn’t present any evidence to back his claims, which are likely aimed at provoking an Israeli military strike on the SAA and even Russian positions in northern Hama.
On December 7, the US State Department claimed that the Syrian government and the Russians had staged a chemical attack in Aleppo city in order to undrmine the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone.