Israel has expressed its apprehension after reports emerged of the growing Iranian presence in Syria. Iran, by its own admission, has revealed that 3,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards have secretly managed to enter Syria to join the Russia-backed fight against the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists.
According to the Jerusalem-based military-intelligence news website - DEBKAfile, this would the largest Iranian ground force to have ever entered Syria.
The development has the alarm bells ringing in Tel Aviv, as it is feared that Damascus would eventually try to mobilise the troops near the Syrian side of the conflicted Golan Heights.
Israel in recent days has transferred hundreds of soldiers from "its northern borders to the domestic fronts" to quell the violent Palestinians terror activities.
Emboldened by the Russian presence, Iran has quite openly been declaring its presence in Syria. In a first on Friday, the Iranian soldiers fought alongside the Syrian army that launched a massive attack in Aleppo, a Syrian city near Turkey.
Similarly, a few days ago, Major General Qassem Soleimani -- the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps or Qods Force -- was photographed rallying Iranian military and Hezbollah members, according to Fox News.
Reuters on Thursday confirmed that Soleimani was in the western province of Latakia to address Iranian officers and Hezbollah fighters.
On Wednesday, a delegation of Iranian lawmakers led by the chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, arrived in Damascus ahead of the joint Syrian-Iranian attack on Aleppo.
"The international coalition led by America has failed in the fight against terrorism. The cooperation between Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Russia has been positive and successful," Boroujerdi was quoted as saying by Iran's state broadcaster IRIB as he arrived at Damascus Airport.