Iran Is Standing By Its Expensive Ally, Syria

(Christian Science Monitor) Nicholas Blanford - Iran has dispatched thousands of soldiers and paramilitary fighters to bolster Syria's flagging army and billions of dollars in loans to prop up its economy. The Assad regime faces a serious shortage of fresh soldiers and militiamen willing to continue fighting, making it ever more reliant on Iran, its close ally of 35 years. The Syrian Army is estimated to have suffered 80,000 to 100,000 dead and wounded in four years of war. The critical manpower shortage is compounded by the recent coordination on Syria policy between the region's Sunni powerhouses - Saudi Arabia and Turkey - in cooperation with Jordan and Qatar. Diplomatic sources in Beirut estimate that Iran spends $1-2 billion a month in Syria in cash handouts and military support.

2015-04-28 00:00:00

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