Israeli General Claims Massive ‘50,000 Strong’ Iran Force in Syria

Echoes Similar US Claims From Early February

by Jason Ditz, March 14, 2013

There’s still no evidence to back it up, but Israeli Major General Aviv Kochavi has echoed a February US allegation of a secret but enormous Iranian army operating in Syria, saying they have created a fighting force of 50,000 aimed at propping up Assad and keeping the war going after his fall.

Kochavi claimed that the unnamed force is fully funded by Iran and trained by Hezbollah, and also claimed that Iran is looking to double the size of this already gargantuan force in the near future.

People some comfortable to accept this claim without any evidence, but it is unimaginable that, in a nation approximately two years into a very ugly civil war, Iran could find 50,000 fighters not already affiliated and transform them into an organized fighting force, created out of wholecloth and unquestioningly loyal.

Keep in mind how huge that is. Syria is roughly the population of Afghanistan, and the Taliban has never been believed to have more than 25,000 fighters. That means Iran, with only about 10% of the nation to be recruited from (the Shi’ite minority), would have to be able to create a force double this size, and then figure they could double that yet again without any serious problems.

Western officials are also accusing Iran of “significantly” increasing the number of weapons they are sending to Syria, though as with the claim of this invisible army, there is no evidence being presented to back this.

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