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IS IRAN INVOLVED IN SYRIA’S CRACKDOWN ?

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A group of armed militants have attacked an Iranian bus on the road connecting the capital, Damascus, to the northwestern city of Aleppo, Iranian Press TV reported on Thursday 01/26/2012.

The incident occurred on Thursday when a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims was stormed by unidentified gunmen. The assailants kidnapped 11 men and drove off to an unknown destination, leaving the female passengers in the vehicle.

The gunmen contacted the relatives of a kidnapped passenger in Tehran, confirming the abduction of the Iranian nationals and demanding a ransom.

On 12/21/2011, five Iranian electrical engineers were kidnapped on their way to a power plant in the troubled Syrian city of Homs by unknown gunmen.

But on Friday 01/27/2012, The armed Syrian opposition group, which called itself the “al-Farouq brigade of the Free Syrian Army,” has released a video showing what it was said were seven Iranians, including five members of the Revolutionary Guards, captured in the city of Homs.

The video showed travel documents of the captives, some of whom appeared to be speaking Farsi.

“I am Sajjad Amirian, a member the Revolutionary Guards of the Iranian armed forces. I am a member of the team in charge of cracking down on protesters in Syria and we receive our orders directly from the security division of the Syrian air force in Homs,” one of the captives said.

The group said five of those abducted were military men working with the Syrian air force intelligence and two showed “civilian status” as employees in a power plant in Homs. But looking at the picture released by Press TV, taken before the group left Iran, and the footage distributed by the Free Syrian Army it is easy to see that it is the same group.

Syrian opposition groups have previously accused Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah group of assisting forces of President Bashar al-Assad in their bloody crackdown on protesters.

The Syrian Revolutionary Coordination Union reported, on J01/17/2012, that a group of Hizbullah fighters had hit civilian protesters near Damascus with Russian-origin BM-21Grad rockets.

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