About 8,000 Hezbollah members, 2,000 Iranian military advisers and 10,000 foreign Shia militamen are currently particiapting in the Syrian conflict on the side of the Damascus government, Israel’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot claimed on January 2.
Eizenkot added that Iran spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually to assist its allies across the Middle East and this amount is growing. The general accused Iran of establishing a “Shia crescent” running through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and Palestinian-ruled Gaza.
“Just glance at the scale of Iranian investment in order to achieve regional hegemony – it adds up to giving Hezbollah between $1 billion and $700 million each year,” the general said in a speech to the IDC Herzliya university. “In recent months, investment in the Palestinian arena has also been growing out of a desire to influence it – with an increase in the funding in the Gaza Strip for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to $100 million.”
However, Eizenkot was not able to provide sources for his data on Iranian spending. Generally, they are based on goals of the Israeli propaganda and the estimates of Israel’s intelligence services.