Iran’s New Commander in Syria: Gen. Gholam-Hossein Gheyb-Parvar
Last week, DEBKA Weekly 690 revealed the identity of the C-in-C of Russian forces in Syria as Col. Gen. Alexander Dvornikov. This week, we can name Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s choice of new commander for the Iranian forces in Syria, with his background.
The picture shows the new commander, Gen. Gholam-Hossein Gheyb Parvar, on the left, with Gen. Qassem Soleimani (as he looks today) at bottom right and the TV satellite dishes he ordered smashed in the background.
Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) Gen. Gholam-Hossein Gheyb-Parvar arrived in Damascus last week to take up his new task, our military and intelligence sources disclose. He filled the gap left after Gen. Hossein Hamedani was assassinated by the Islamic State in October near Aleppo.
In his new position, Gen. Gheyb-Parvar ranks fourth in Iran’s military hierarchy, after Adm. Ali Shamkhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jaafari, commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Gen. Qassem Soleimani, chief of the Al Qods Brigades.
The Syrian post is more important than ever for Tehran, which is why the supreme leader handled it in person
The assassination in Damascus of the high-profile Iranian agent, Samir Quntar, on Sunday, Dec. 20, was a direct Israeli challenge to Iran in the five-year Syrian conflict, which Tehran is counting on to achieve its strategic goals: a land bridge from Iran and the Gulf to the Mediterranean, and dominant influence in Damascus, Beirut and Baghdad for “exporting” its Shiite revolution.
Khamenei was much impressed by Gheyb-Parvar’s performance as IRGC commander of the southern Fars Province. Last January, he crushed a local uprising against the regime.
This religious fanatic also ordered Guardsmen to smash 6,000 satellite dishes in the provincial capital of Shiraz to halt a “silent invasion” that he believed was undermining “religious values.”
The West never heard of this episode because the Obama administration did not want Tehran upset at a sensitive point in the nuclear negotiations.
Khamenei is counting on the general to deal with the Syrian rebels against Bashar Assad with the same dispatch as he dealt with Fars insurgents. Gheyb-Parvar retains command of Fars Province, assuming he finds it feasible to hold two senior command posts that are 1,600 km apart.
He arrived with a plan in hand for sweeping changes in the disposition of Iranian forces in Syria after their disappointing performance in battle. He has also designed a new body called Kashab for recruiting and training young Syrians of all religious denominations to fight for the Assad regime.