Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Reportedly Transporting Weapons, Ammunition To Syria Via Russian-Controlled Airports In The Country

November 10, 2023

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On November 9, 2023, Syrian opposition newspaper, Damascus Voice, reported that an Iranian Ilyushin cargo plane landed in Syria's Khmeimim airbase, which is used by Russian forces, to deliver unidentified cargo.[1]

According to the report, flight tracker sites identified the Iranian plane as coming from Tehran into Syrian airspace. Yet the tracker sites lost the plane while the aircraft transited over the airspace of the country's Homs Governorate. Anonymous sources told the Damascus Voice, however, that the plane landed at the Russian-operated Khmeimin airbase, with Russian permission.

The sources also claimed that IRGC officers were present at the aircraft's unloading, with the content being transported to an unknown location via Russian vehicles. According to Damascus Voice, the plane had previously transported Iranian weapons and ammunition to Iran-backed militias in Syria "dozens of times" over the year.

Earlier, on November 2, the outlet also reported that a plane belonging to the IRGC-linked Mahan Air landed at Khmeimim Airport coming from the Iranian capital, Tehran.[2]

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IRGC Resumes Use Of Russian Wagner Group-Operated Palmyra Airport

Separately, the North Press Agency, which supports the Syrian opposition, reported that the IRGC resumed use of the military airport in Palmyra, after handing control of the airport to the Russian Wagner Group in March 2021.[3] According to the outlet, the IRGC has thus far used the airport to transfer weapons and ammunition to Iran-backed militias in the country.

North Press Agency also claimed that the Russian Wagner Group remains at the airport to provide security for local companies, but that it is also allowing the IRGC to resume use of the facilities.

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[1] Damascus Voice, November 9, 2023.

[2] Damascus Voice, November 2, 2023.

[3] North Press Agency, November 9, 2023.

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