Why Iran is supporting Syria

Some notes on the Iranian support for the syrian regime:
1. First of all, Iran does not support Assad as a person. Iran supports the Syrian regime which is and has been a decade long ally of Iran in the region.
2. Irans motives are neither (a) “expansion of Shiism” nor (b) “suppression of Sunnis”
Had it been (a), Iran would forcefully (try to) “shiitize” the non-Shia parts of Iran.
Had it been (b) Iran would not have supported Sunni Palestinians, Sunni Bosnians or the Sunni majority “Northern Alliance” in Afghanistan. Plus, Iran in the 80s accepted millions of overwhelmingly Sunni afghan refugees while itself being at war with an arab country that was strongly supported by wahhabi Sunni states Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Reflecting on these FACTS anyone should be able to dump all the nonsensical trash regarding Irans alleged plan to “exterminate Sunnis” (as Yusuf al Qaradawi ridculously claimed)
3. Irans support for Syria is a defensive action. Iran did not out of the sudden send material and later men to Syria to fight an offensive war for territorial expansion or ideological export. Irans actions are an attempt to save a regime that is Iran friendly and that has a frontier with Israel but – contrary to Jordan – has not signed a peace with Israel.

To counter the constant Israeli threats Iran needs Syria as a transit land for weapons deliveries to the Hezbollah.
Now, Hezbollah is neither willing nor capable to seriously attack Israel or “liberate” Israeli territory. Instead Hezbollah has 2 roles:
a) defend the mostly Shiite southern Lebanon from getting an Israeli buffer zone again (where Palestinians could be exiled or mass deported)
b) be Irans “Joker” in case Israel attacks Iran. It is a totally different issue whether Israel has to take into account at least medium damage and casualties resulting from Hezbollah counter attacks or whether Iran has no militia on Israels doorstep to retaliate for Iran that itself lacks a common border with Israel and the necessary long range aircraft to reach that country.

(b) also applies to Syria and even on a much broader scale. Syrias military, militias etc. have by far more man power and better weaponry than Hezbollah. Syria offers much more territorial depth for Iran to deploy parts of it airforce there to bridge the distance to Israel.
Even though technically inferior to the Israeli airforce a medium size fleet along with missile defence systems around and in front of it starting from syrian soil towards Israel would leave Israel less time to react.
Iran could also place ground forces and short range artillery in the Golan area to accompany possible aerial attacks with ground attacks.
All this would not be enough to defeat Israel but it would be enough deterrence to let Israel think twice before attacking Iran for no valid reason.

So, these are the reasons why Israel and the US and at least indirectly UK and France are so keen on regime change in Syria. They know exactly that Assads removal would severely weaken Hezbollah.
Saudi Arabia and Qatars motivations for regime change are clearly the following:
– weaken Iran
– denounce and weaken Hezbollah, a Shia movement that enjoyed popularity and support among many non-Wahhabi Sunnis
– Secure further american support in case they have to encounter their own “arab springs”

Being awash in money and lacking military man power the Gulf arab countries run a huge defamation campaign against Iran and it´s arab allies by inventing the legend of an alleged large scale campaign to marginalize, suppress and kill Sunnis simply because the are Sunnis, as though Assad, Hezbollah and Iran were leading a religious war, an inner-islamic crusade against the majority of Sunnis who outnumber the Shia 15:1.
That this is pure trashtalk is obvious to anyone who is able to think without religious fervor, but some arab audience, especially in poor, socially neglected rural areas with unemployed youth suffering from low or no education proves to be receptive for such propaganda.

Killing Shias and the Quran

Quran 5:32
“…whosoever killeth a human being… it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind…”

Now, judge for yourself to which category those belong who have been killing the Shia in Iraq:

Defying political Islam vs. „apostasy“

People are naive if they think that opposing political Islam amounts to „disbelief“ or „apostasy“.
Almost everywhere rulers attributed to themselves by referring to the islamic character of their rule calamity befell their subjects. It is stupid and ridiculous to think that muslim people must be ruled by an islamic government. Religion should be a matter of free and private decision and not externally controlled and enforced by people who claim to „know better“.

On the one hand small children are put into Quran schools, thus implying that religion does not require a minimum age (or level of maturity), but on the other hand it is claimed that adult muslims do not know by themselves how to live a correctly pious life.

One of the recent examples of political Islam is Raqqa in Syria:

Syria: military news and BBC interview

Excellent short interview by Bouthaina Shaaban, Assads advisor:

Western and arab media is interested in exaggerating the role of Iranian ground forces in Syria, but what about this?
„The number of British Islamists who have gone to Syria to fight in the war there is in the „low hundreds“, a senior UK intelligence official says.“

„Syrian troops have retaken a key rebel-held town south of Damascus“

„Syria troops launch major offensive in Aleppo. Soldiers retake parts of strategic airbase near international airport in northern province.“

„Insurgents Capture a Major Ammunition Depot“

Israels bombing of Latakia is for torpedoing Rouhani


„Israeli aircraft have carried out a strike near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, a US official says.“

There is close to zero logic and military necessity in attacking defensive weapons of a neighboring country that is already stuck in a vicious and devastating civil war. The unprovoked attack on a country with which Israel is (at least officially) not at war does not become any more meaningful or legitimate even if we accept Israels claim that the destroyed weapons were supposed to be transferred to the lebanese Hezbollah.
Why is Israel so much concerned about the possible boost of the defensive capabilities of a militia in another neighboring country which has not violated a ceasefire that began 7 years ago?

Needles to object to Israels apparently unlimited „carte blanche“ to attack souvereign countries with impunity. This was the fifth or sixth such attack on Syria which Israel itself did not officially admit and which did not subject Israel to any criticism by the international mainstream media or by more or less unconditionally supportive western states. This is a disgraceful manifestation of blatant double standard. Just imagine Iran would attack a military airbase in Croatia to destroy weapons that were (allegedly or really) about to be shipped to Syrian rebels. Or Syria would attack a military convoy on the Turkish side of the border claiming it were carrying weapons for rebel fighters in Northern Syria. Nato would have declared war on Syria and each and every media outlet would have torn Assad apart.

The real motivation and purpose for Israels renewed attack on Syria is two-fold:
a) Provoke Syria to make the „mistake“ to retaliate, thus giving Israel and probably also Obama the pretext to unleash massive air raids on Syrian army positions and weaponry in order to help the rebels win a fight that they would not win otherwise in the short and mid term.
b) and this is much more important and relevant: „bomb“ Rouhani, his charm offensive and any perspective of US-Iranian rapprochment. Humiliating Syria and Assad once again is meant to provoke Iranian hardliners to undermine and defame Rouhanis peace initiative. Rouhani would be portrayed as a traitor and weak if he and Iran would ignore continuous unjustified attacks on Irans most important arab ally by the US´ most important anti-Iranian ally Israel.

The attack and also it´s time of occurrence – on the day the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said all Syria’s declared equipment for making chemical weapons had been destroyed – is no coincidence. Israel is the true and most active systematic „destabilizer“ of the Middle East and currently Israels number one priority is to achieve Rouhanis failure.