London, Sept 17 (ANI): Iran has finally admitted for the first time that its elite revolutionary guards corps (IRGC) are in Syria helping Bashar al-Assad's government in fight the rebel forces.
Iran also warned that it would get involved militarily if its Arab ally came under attack.
General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Islamic republic's elite military formation, said that a number of members of the IRGC's Qods force were in Syria, and claimed this did not constitute 'a military presence.'
According to the Guardian, Jafari said the IRGC was providing 'intellectual and advisory help' to Syria.
"If Syria came under military attack, Iran would also give military support but it ... totally depends on the circumstances," the paper quoted him, as saying.
He also said that the Strait of Hormuz, the channel at the mouth of the Gulf through which a third of the world's traded oil passes, would be a legitimate target for Iran should it be attacked.
"If war occurs in the region and the Islamic republic is involved, it is natural that the Strait of Hormuz as well as the energy [market] will face difficulties," Jafari said.
"The U.S. has many vulnerabilities around Iran, and its bases are within the range of the guards' missiles. We have other capabilities as well, particularly when it comes to the support of Muslims for the Islamic republic," he added. (ANI)