ISW: Wagner's withdrawal from Syria may induce Iran to take control over some positions

    WORLD  21 September 2023 - 12:34

    Wagner is vacating its positions in Syria to comply with a Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) ultimatum. Iran may assume control of some of the positions to secure military assets and expand its economic operations.

    “The Russian MoD instructed Wagner forces in Syria on August 27 to leave the country or join the Russian armed forces by September 20,” Caliber.Az reports, citing the Institute for the Study of War.

    The ISW analysts said that approximately 1,500 Wagner militants are in Syria, and over 3,000 Syrians work for Wagner.

    On August 27, Russian military bloggers claimed that from the Wagner point of view, the better option is to transfer assets to Iran rather than to the Russian MoD, the ISW said in a report.

    “Wagner’s withdrawals from Syria present Iran with an opportunity to secure a permanent and profitable presence there. Iran uses the central Syrian desert area to transfer weapons and military equipment to its proxies across the Levant,” the report reads.

    Moreover, Syria has some of the largest known reserves of phosphate, which is a key fertilizer ingredient.

    Caliber.Az

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