`Iran, Hezbollah build strong force to help Assad`
London: Iran and Hezbollah have built a 50,000-strong parallel force in Syria to help the regime of President Bashar-al Assad in its fight against rebels demanding his ouster, Israel`s military intelligence chief has claimed.
Major General Aviv Kochavi said Iran intended to double the size of this Syrian ‘people`s army’, which he claimed was being trained by Hezbollah fighters and funded by Tehran.
According to Guardian, Kochavi, the director of military intelligence in the Israel defence forces (IDF), also said Assad`s troops had readied chemical weapons, but so far had not been given the order for them to be used.
The official claimed that since last June Tehran had been using Hezbollah to build up a large Syrian militia that would be Iranian-controlled even in the event of Assad`s fall from power.
According to the paper, Kochavi told the Herzliya Conference, a meeting of security officials and analysts in Israel that Iran and Hezbollah support Assad operationally on the ground, with strategic consultation, intelligence, weapons.
Most recently, they are establishing a ``people`s army`` trained by Hezbollah and financed by Iran, currently consisting of 50,000 men, with plans to increase to 100,000, he added.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Watch - Huge fire breaks out at petrol pump in Kota, Rajasthan
- Bihar: Congress leader Brajesh Pandey accused of running sex racket
- NSG now 'nine times' stronger; receives technological strength from 12 countries!
- BJP MP Yogi Adityanath compares Akhilesh Yadav with 'Aurangzeb' and 'Kans'
- Acrimonious remarks of political leaders during UP elections
- Reliance Jio's tariff plan from April 1; voice calls, roaming to be free: Mukesh Ambani
- Virat Kohli thanks sprint legend Usain Bolt for congratulating him on 'record' Puma deal
- BMC exit poll: BJP predicted to score big in neck-and-neck battle with Shiv Sena
- IPL 2017 Auction: Reaction-filled Twitter erupts with emotions!
- Reliance Jio Prime Membership at Rs 99: All you need to know about the plan