Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani has vowed that upcoming developments in Syria will soon “surprise” the world, the NOW Lebanon news website reported on Tuesday.
“The world will be surprised by what we and the Syrian military leadership are preparing for the coming days,” the state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) quoted Soleimani as saying, according to the website.
The Quds Force commander’s comment comes after a recent visit to Syria where he toured the Latakia region, which has come under threat from rebels who seized the nearby Idlib province last week.
A number of pro-regime outlets reported on Soleimani’s trip over the weekend, according to NOW Lebanon, including the pro-Hezbollah Mulkak news which said the Iranian military commander met with the Syrian army’s chief of staff as well as top field commanders and Hezbollah officials during his secret visit.
“An agreement was reached [during the meetings] that will be translated on the [battlefield],” the outlet claimed.
Meanwhile, a defected militiaman told the Arabic-language Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper that Soleimani’s trip aimed to formalize the “entry of Iranian officers to supervise and aid the battles in coastal Syria for the first time since the outbreak of Syrian uprising.”
“Prior aid was limited to only logistical aid,” the unnamed source said.
Iran is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and has provided him with military support during his fight against rebels trying to topple his regime.
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.
Soleimani is also known to have advised Iraqi forces in multiple operations against ISIS, which led a major offensive last June that overran large areas north and west of Baghdad.