Iran has stationed 10 brigades of its traditional army’s ground forces along its borders to deter “enemies” Gen. Kyumars Haydari was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Gen. Haydari did not clarify if these forces all belonged to the army or also included unites from the Revolutionary Guard’s ground forces. He also did not provide a numerical estimate of the forces, but a brigade is usually around 3,000-4,000 troops.
The Islamic Republic has maintained its traditional army while heavily investing in the Revolutionary Guard that in many respects commands stronger and better trained units.
Gen Haydari who is the commander of the army’s ground forces said that these brigades are stationed in the northwest, west, southwest and northeast to confront “enemies”. Iran has been projecting military power along its borders with Iraq to deter what it calls separatist Kurds using Iraqi territory as a base.
With recent clashes and tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iran’s northwestern neighbors, Tehran has also sent forces to the area possibly to deter Baku from invading southern Armenia and cutting Iran off from its friendly neighbor.
Iran has also faced intermittent incursions and hostile fire from the Taliban in the northeast, who have cut off waters from a major river flowing across the border, depriving vast arid swaths of territory from its traditional source of irrigation.
Haydari, however, said that the deployment “does not mean an immediate danger threatens the Islamic regime,” rather it is meant to boost readiness and to be in a better position to monitor the borders. He added that it is important for ground forces to “to feel themselves in the trenches,” according to the commands of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.