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How Iran is trying to secure a corridor from its border to the Mediterranean

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Wed August 23 2017, 2:37 pm
  • iran, syria, Mediterranean, desert, Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah, syria iran reach, islamic state, army troops, corridor, Iran is trying to secure a corridor, latest pics, world pics, IS

    Thousands of Iranian-backed fighters in Syria's central desert region are advancing east, bringing Tehran closer to its goal of securing a corridor from its border, through Iraq and all the way to the Mediterranean and providing it unhindered land access to its allies in Syria and Lebanon for the first time. The land-route would be the biggest prize yet for Iran in its involvement in Syria's six-year-old civil war. It would facilitate movement of Iranian-backed fighters between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as well as the flow of weapons to Damascus and Lebanon's Hezbollah, Iran's main proxy group. It also positions Iran to play a prime and lucrative role in what is expected to be a massive rebuilding effort in both Iraq and Syria, which have been devastated in their ongoing wars. (AP Photo)

  • iran, syria, Mediterranean, desert, Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah, syria iran reach, islamic state, army troops, corridor, Iran is trying to secure a corridor, latest pics, world pics, IS

    The potential for a physical artery for Iran's influence across the region is raising concern in predominantly Sunni Arab countries and in Israel, the nemesis of both Iran and Hezbollah. It poses a challenge to the Trump administration, which has vowed to fight Iran's growing reach. (AP Photo)

  • iran, syria, Mediterranean, desert, Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah, syria iran reach, islamic state, army troops, corridor, Iran is trying to secure a corridor, latest pics, world pics, IS

    The route is largely being carved out by Iran's allies and proxies, a mix of forces including troops of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hezbollah fighters and Shiite militias on both sides of the border aiming to link up. (AP Photo)

  • iran, syria, Mediterranean, desert, Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah, syria iran reach, islamic state, army troops, corridor, Iran is trying to secure a corridor, latest pics, world pics, IS

    Iran also has forces of its own Revolutionary Guard directly involved in the campaign on the Syrian side. (AP Photo)

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    Concerns over their advances are expected to come up when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds talks Wednesday in the Russian resort of Sochi with President Vladimir Putin, whose country is an ally of Iran and Assad. (AP Photo)

  • iran, syria, Mediterranean, desert, Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah, syria iran reach, islamic state, army troops, corridor, Iran is trying to secure a corridor, latest pics, world pics, IS

    A corridor would be a boost for Israel's powerful enemy Hezbollah, which has an arsenal of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles. Iran currently ships weapons to Hezbollah mostly by flying them to Syria to be shipped on the ground to Lebanon. (AP Photo)

  • iran, syria, Mediterranean, desert, Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah, syria iran reach, islamic state, army troops, corridor, Iran is trying to secure a corridor, latest pics, world pics, IS

    Israel has warned it would do what it can to keep Iran from threatening its borders and has carried out airstrikes in Syria against suspected weapons shipments bound for Hezbollah. Israel pushed hard for a U.S- and Russia-brokered truce that came into effect recently in southern Syria to keep Iranian-backed militias at a distance from the Golan Heights, which Israel has occupied since 1967. (AP Photo)

  • iran, syria, Mediterranean, desert, Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah, syria iran reach, islamic state, army troops, corridor, Iran is trying to secure a corridor, latest pics, world pics, IS

    The land route is by no means a fait accompli. Any road link will likely be a frequent target by Sunni insurgent groups. But Iran's allies are making progress on both sides of the border, taking territory from the Islamic State group. In recent months, Syrian troops and allied militiamen have marched forward on three fronts toward areas bordering Iraq. One of their main targets is the IS-held eastern city of Deir el-Zour, where the militants have imposed a siege for years on a small government-held pocket. (AP Photo)

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