IRAN has withdrawn 275 members of a covert operations unit from Syria
IRAN has withdrawn 275 members of a covert operations unit from Syria as it faces an economic crisis at home and bitter criticism about the cost of its support for President Bashar al-Assad.
The men belong to a brigade known as Unit 400, part of Iran’s elite Quds (Jerusalem) force, which has fought alongside Assad’s security apparatus against Sunni rebels.
They flew out of Syria last week, according to a western intelligence source, whose information was confirmed by a relative of a Unit 400 officer.
The withdrawal was seen in some quarters as a sign of waning confidence among Iran’s Shi’ite leaders in Assad’s ability to survive the revolt.
It came as Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, faced an unexpected challenge with the collapse of Iran’s currency, the rial, and protests on the streets of