Iran Withdraws IRGC Commanders from Syria Due to Fear of Israeli Assassinations

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have reduced their deployment of senior officers in Syria due to Israeli strikes. They will rely more on allied Shi’ite militia to preserve their influence there. The Guards have experienced a series of deadly Israeli strikes, leading them to pull out senior officers. While Iran has no plans to leave Syria, the decision reflects the consequences of the war ignited by the attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Iran has chosen to stay out of the conflict while supporting other groups in the region that oppose Israeli and US interests. The downsizing of senior Iranian commanders in Syria is also an effort to avoid being pulled into the Israel-Gaza war. Iran has sent thousands of fighters to Syria during the war, with most of them being Shi’ite militiamen from the region. The Guards will manage operations in Syria remotely, with the help of ally Hezbollah. The reduction in presence and movements of Iranian officers has not impacted operations, according to sources. Iranian forces have come to Syria to help President Bashar al-Assad beat back rebels who seized control of the country. Despite the deadly strikes, Iran is unlikely to end its commitment to Syria and preserving its role there. Russia’s support of Assad and Iran’s reduced role could strain their relationship. Russia and Iran are expected to sign a new treaty soon, indicating strengthening ties between the two nations.