Iran Confirms Military Advisers in Syria, Lebanon

Will Deployments Suck Iran Into Syrian Civil War?

Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari has confirmed that Iran has “high-level” military advisers in both Syria and Lebanon at the moment, also suggesting that Iran might deploy troops into Syria in particular if attacked.

The “advisers” deployment is an age-old method for a nation to get sucked into a war, with several historical examples of “advisers” coming under attack and being used as a pretext for escalation, notably the US military advisers in South Vietnam, which eventually snowballed into a massive war across Southeast Asia.

Iran’s confirmation seemed tentative, perhaps fearing that they will get drawn into a war in this case, and the Iranian Foreign Ministry denied Gen. Jafari’s statement, insisting no members of the Quds Force, of which Jafari is one of the top leaders, are in Syria or Lebanon.

Jafari qualified his own statements as well, saying that the advisers deployed were not “combat troops” but were there to pass experience to the Syrian military, contrasting that to overt military aid to Syrian rebels.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of