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Elite Iranian Military Unit Aimed at U.S. Forces in Syria, Israel


By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation

Iran has assembled an elite military unit comprised of thousands of heavily armed fighters capable of attacking U.S. forces in Syria and Israel, Newsweek reported on Friday.

The Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ “Imam Hossein Division” is an elect fighter unit armed with “combat fighters, special forces equipped with advanced weapons, and headquarters and logistics sections” and is considered “to have powerful and robust capabilities,” according to an intelligence document obtained by Newsweek. The unit attacked Israel in 2019 with surface-to-surface missiles and a U.S. military garrison in 2021 with drone and rocket offensives, according to an intelligence official who spoke to Newsweek and wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitive information.

“They are preparing and gathering capabilities in order to be able to cause a threat to American forces in Syria and to Israel,” the official told Newsweek.

The Imam Hossein Division was created in 2016 by Quds Force leader General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike under the orders of former President Trump in 2020, Newsweek reported.

“The Division represents a multi-national combat force made up of thousands of fighters from around the Middle East. Today, the Division’s structure maintains thousands of fighters in the Syrian arena,” the document reads, according to Newsweek. “Most of the operatives are Syrian, although some are from Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, and other countries. These operatives arrived in Syria as part of the ‘Holy War’ against ‘distorted’ Islam and ISIS, and remained in the area under the Quds force after the conclusion of intense fighting in the area.”

The fight against ISIS was a two-prong effort by Iran, Syria and Russia militias and, separately, U.S. and Kurdish forces, Newsweek reported. Iranian leaders have called for the expulsion of U.S. forces in the Middle East, and there have been attacks in Syria from the Iranian military in an effort to grab control of the region.

“The Iranians certainly want the coalition to depart from Syria and they want that so they can have freedom of action to have Iranian-aligned groups move advanced conventional weapons and lethal capabilities across Syria for their own purposes: to threaten Israel or to threaten other interests with whom they disagree,” U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich said in a June statement.

“Whatever happens in Syria is now under the jurisdiction of the Iranians and this division of the Quds Force,” the anonymous intelligence official told Newsweek.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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