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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Iran using civilian flights to transfer soldiers, ammunition

The Iranian security agencies are secretly transferring soldiers, wounded and dead soldiers and ammunition from the battle sectors in Syria and Yemen via civilian flights. This according to a report by an Iranian military official belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

These smuggling activities were reported by the official on the anti-government "Amed News" site and were translated and published by the MEMRI institute which tracks media outlets in the Middle East.

According to the reports, the flights by the Iranian airline Mahan Air to Damascus in Syria and Sana'a in Yemen are utilized for transporting large quantities of ammunition in the cargo department which are then sent to battle zones.

The same official reported that one of these airliners, whose cargo hold was packed with weapons, attempted to land at Sana'a but was threatened by two Saudi bombers, and that due to the bombing of the Sana'a airport, it was unable to unload the military cargo in question. 
Apparently this is a reference to an event that took place on May 3, 2015, when two Saudi bombers escorted an Iranian airliner and prevented it from landing in Yemen by bombing the Sana'a airport. Iran claimed the airliner was loaded with aid including food and drugs, but this senior military source said it was actually transporting weapons for the Houthis.

The official also reported that 'Last year, one of these airliners transported regular passengers [as well as] military forces and ammo from Iran to Syria, and on its way back to Iran, it brought dead and injured Iranians, Syrians, Afghanis, and Pakistanis for treatment or burial in Iran.' He added: 'On the return trip from Syria, these airliners carry people in Zone C, which is in the rear of the plane and the regular passengers cannot see it. They disembark via the rear door and occupy a separate part [of the plane] from the regular passengers. These are the same people Iran trains in armed combat and guerilla warfare at IRGC bases. In fact, the IRGC commanders use the regular passengers on Mahan Air flights as a cover to transfer weapons, ammo, and [fighters] trained [to wage] guerrilla warfare in the region."