Putin drafts 150,000 as Iran, Hezbollah prepare ground offensive in Syria

Putin drafts 150,000 as Iran, Hezbollah prepare ground offensive in Syria
Putin confers with his senior military officials. (Image: Kremlin/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin via Newsweek)

Vladimir Putin has conscripted 150,000 new troops into the Russian army as the country unleashed a new wave of airstrikes in Syria – while and Iran and Islamist group Hezbollah prepare for a major ground offensive.

Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria over the last ten days, backed by the country’s Lebanese allies, Hezbollah, and rebel fighters from Iraq and Afghanistan, two Lebanese sources claimed today.

One of the sources said the Iranian ground forces were ‘soldiers and officers’, not advisers, adding: ‘We mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more.’

They are being supported by Russia’s warplanes who bombed camps of rebel fighters trained by the CIA, one of the group’s commanders claimed. …

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the decree to conscript hundreds of thousands of new troops was not related to the escalating conflict in the Middle East.

Dmitry Peskov, who said Russia is targeting ISIS and other extremist groups, told Sputnik News: ‘This is a regular document which the president signs twice a year.’

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