Iran Extends Reach with Fight for Land Link to Mediterranean

(AP-Washington Post) Bassem Mroue and Qassim Abdul-Zahra - Thousands of Iranian-backed fighters in Syria's central desert region are advancing east, bringing Tehran closer to its goal of securing a corridor from its border, through Iraq and all the way to the Mediterranean. Such a land route would facilitate movement of Iranian-backed fighters between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, as well as the flow of weapons to Damascus and Hizbullah. "The aim is for a geographical connection between Syria, Iraq and the axis of resistance," Syrian Information Minister Ramez al-Turjuman said in a TV interview. U.S.-backed Syrian fighters had aimed to move north along the Iraqi border from southeastern Syria to block pro-Iranian forces' moves to link up. But in June, Assad's forces reached the border first, cutting them off. Now the American allies are preparing to try from the other direction, moving south along the border from the northeastern province of Hassakeh.

2017-08-23 00:00:00

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