Iran Moves Forward Command Groups into Iraq, Syria and Lebanon


As a part of its war preparations, Tehran has sent a forward command group of Revolutionary Guards officers overland for the first time into Iraq.

This is revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military and intelligence sources.

Positioned in one of the towns of the Shiite South, this group has been entrusted with direct charge of all Iran’s terror and intelligence networks scattered across the country, as well as the two foremost Shiite militias, the Badr Force and the Wolves, both of which are attached to Iraq’s national security forces.

This has brought a key combat section of Iraq’s security forces under direct Iranian command.

It has also asserted authority over the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr‘s Mehdi Army militia units in Baghdad, Najef, Kufa, Karbala, Basra and Amara. Sadr’s powers have been winnowed down to politics and propaganda. Iranian officers have also taken over the various militias or elements thereof which are loyal to Tehran or recipients of Iranian funding.

All in all, US and Iraqi intelligence sources estimate that Iran now has direct command over 40-45,000 combatants in Iraq.

By this forward deployment, Tehran has achieved three objectives.

1. Control of a large pool of Iraqi combatants subservient to Iranian objectives and orders from Tehran.

2. Centralization of these forces’ operations and their synchronization by a central command to avoid manpower being squandered on targets extraneous to the Iranian war effort.

3. The easy and rapid transfer of units from point to point including their deployment outside Iraq as reinforcements for operations in Iran, Syria or Lebanon.



DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military sources disclose that a parallel forward command group has taken charge of Hizballah.

A Revolutionary Guards group of officers, including four generals, has just arrived in Syria to assume command. Hassan Nasrallah has been superseded in decisions about the deployment of Hizballah contingents, their movements and their operations, like his good friend Moqtada Sadr in Baghdad. Nasrallah has been left with running his movement’s political affairs in Lebanon, organizing repairs of war damage and propaganda.

The only Hizballah leader left with broad command powers in Lebanon is Imad Mughniyeh.



The first Iranian Scud-B Shahab-1 missile systems from Iran have begun landing in Syria for Hizballah, DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military sources report. With a range of 350 km, they are the heaviest missile Iran has so far consigned to its Lebanese surrogate. It is also the first time in Middle East history that a state has provided a regional terrorist organization with a weapon as heavy as the Shahab-1.

They are also shipping to Hizballah at least several dozen Zelzal missiles capable of reaching targets at a distance of 250 km. This is part of a special project for rebuilding Hizballah’s long-range brigade, which was all but wiped out by the Israeli air force.

Iran has learned three telling lessons from Hizballah’s performance in the war against Israel:

1. The Lebanese terror group was short of an air defense capability as protection against Israeli helicopters and fighter jets. In the first stage, Iran will fly to Lebanon via Syria a large quantity of shoulder-borne anti-air missiles of various types. DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military sources also report that discussions have been taking place in Tehran and also between Iranian and Syrian officials about providing Hizballah with air defense missile systems.

2. Iranian war planners have concluded that Hizballah needs a substantial supply of C-802 shore-to-sea cruise missiles to hamper Israeli freedom of naval action opposite Lebanese shores – or even force the lifting of the sea blockade in effect since the start of the war. They have therefore assigned high priority to pushing these systems through Syria into Lebanon with all possible speed.

One Iranian flight laden with C-802 missiles was forced by Turkish warplanes to land at Diyabakir air base in southeast Turkey last week after it was detected by American spy satellite.

Tuesday, Aug. 22, one of the two Hizballah government members, Labor Minister Tarrad Hamadeh, said the government in Beirut could decide “on its own to open its areas and rid itself of the siege.” Lebanon would soon be able to break Israel’s sea blockade, he said.

3. Iran will reinforce Hizballah’s electronic warfare capabilities. Our sources report that Tehran asked Damascus for permission to fly in from Iran an EW unit to be based in Syria for managing the campaign against the Israeli army.

As its reward for holding out against the Israeli army, Hizballah will be the first Islamist terrorist group to be transformed into a military power armed with the missile and EW resources of a regular national army. Neither the Lebanese national army nor even Jordan’s royal forces own hardware as high-powered as this.

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