Iran ‘training militia’ to fight Syrian rebels: US

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 13:27

London: The United States has accused Iran of playing a major role in supporting the Syrian regime by helping to build and train a militia to fight opposition groups.

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said Iran was training a militia made up of Syrian Shia Muslim fighters.

Syria`s mainly Sunni Muslim rebels are reportedly being backed by Sunni-ruled Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as Turkey.

Shia Iran supports President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Alawite minority sect, which is an offshoot of Shia Islam.

According to the BBC, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also said it had become obvious that Iran was providing assistance and training for the Syrian regime.

“We do not think that Iran ought to be playing that role at this moment in time,” the report quoted him, as saying.

“It is adding to the killing that`s going on in Syria, and it tries to bolster a regime that we think ultimately is going to come down,” he added.


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First Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 13:27

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