Iran's Syrian quagmire
Iran has lost thousands of fighters and more than 10 generals during its engagement in the Syria- Iraq wars, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported on Sunday.I suspect the heavy losses of generals may be linked to a morale problem in motivating troops to attack that caused generals to lead from the front in order to get the rest to fight. I have also seen reports indicating that Hezballah was having to deal with resistance to orders to join the fight.
At a conference on martyrdom in Iranian culture on March 6, Mohammad Ali Shahidi, director of the Martyrs Foundation, estimated Iranian losses in the Syria-Iraq wars at 2,100.
The report noted that Washington Institute for Near East Policy researcher Ali Alfoneh recently put the number of Iranian losses at 2,603.
The center broke down the 2,603 as 511 actual Iranians, 1,045 Hezbollah fighters and 1,047 Afghan, Pakistani and other Shi’ite militia fighters – all under Iranian command.
Notably, more than 10 Iranians of the rank equivalent to a brigadier- general have been among those killed.
The intelligence report claimed that the high losses, especially of so many senior officers, is the reason Iran’s military footprint in Syria and Iraq has fallen from thousands to hundreds.
Other reports have speculated that Tehran has confirmed the numbers publicly now only because it senses that the wars are winding down and that there will not be significant additional Iranian losses.
There are also contrary reports by groups opposed to the regime claiming that Iran’s losses are far higher, but are being covered up.