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Do These Videos Show Iranians Fighting in Syria's War?

That Iran supports the Syrian regime is well known, but there has been little evidence of direct involvement on the ground. Now a series of videos purporting to show Persian-speakers dressed in military uniforms, operating inside Syria and working with government forces have gone viral.

Apparently, Syrian rebels overran troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and obtained video footage of what appears to be Iranian military advisers working with Syrians. The man in the video above can be heard speaking Persian, and asks someone for a phone number in Tehran.

According to the New York Times, the videos have been widely shared in international media although it is difficult to independently verify their claims. Based on reports from Iran, The Lede Blog speculates that the footage may have been recorded by an Iranian documentary filmmaker who was reportedly killed in Syria.

Iranians on the Road

Another filmed conversation between two Iranians in a car says they need specialized people to be able to guide and lead. The driver says that “that [rebels] were cleaned out with difficulty from this part.” Several times they pass military forces, and once the driver says these are presidential guards. There is also a conversation in Arabic between the Iranian driver and Syrian soldiers.

Iranian Military Resting

Iranian “Commander”

An Iranian commander says, “We sent troops to the left part of the field.”

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