Iran and Iraq have conveyed around 7,000 fighters in Syria in past weeks allegedly to fortify Damascus and its surroundings, a Syrian security source said to AFP on Wednesday.
"Around 7,000 Iranian and Iraqi fighters have arrived in Syria over the past few weeks and their first priority is the defence of the capital. The larger contingent is Iraqi," he said.
The security source added that the goal is to deploy 10,000 fighters in Syria, mainly in Damascus with the intent of supporting Syrian army and pro-government militias. He also said they aim to recapture Jisr al Shughur, where Syrian opposition forces captured n late April, is a key to the Mediterranean coast and Hama in central Syria.
Iran's Supreme National Security Council chief Ali Shamkhani had said his country is ready for “massive field action soon” to restore security and to protect Syria by closing border crossings leading to Syrian opposition factions he described as “terrorists.”
Iran has long supported Syrian President Bashar al Assad in the four-year-long civil war, in spite of all human rights violations and atrocities he committed.
Over 220,000 Syrians have died since 2011, while over 7 million have been externally displaced, mainly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.