On November 15, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), revealed that Iran will deploy peacekeepers near areas held by the Syrian opposition in northern Syria upon an official request from the Damascus government.
“In light of the ongoing peace talks, the Syrian government has asked Iran to organize units as peacekeepers in Idlib and northwest of Aleppo,” Maj. Gen. Jafari told reporters in the Iranian city of Qazvin, according to the Iran Front Page news outlet.
The IRGC commander added that the force, which will be deployed in Syria soon, will be limited in numbers and will carry out peacekeeping missions only. Maj. Gen. Jafari also revealed that only volunteers are being deployed in the war-torn country.
“All those who are present in Syria have volunteered to do so and are mostly advisors.” Said Jafari.
Iran is one of the main members of the Astana process along with Russia and Turkey. Under an agreement reached during the talks, Iranian forces established seven observation posts between Aleppo and Lattakia. The new peacekeeping force will likely be deployed at some of these posts.
The U.S. has stepped up its military, economic and political pressure on Iran since the beginning of this year in order to force it to withdraw from Syria. However, Washington pressure apparently backfired and motivated Damascus and Tehran to increase their cooperation.