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Iran hunkers down in Syria after Caesar Act sanctions

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps says it has no backup plan and is not leaving Syria.
Syrian demonstrators look at a poster bearing the portraits of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (C-R) and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C) in the central Saadallah al-Jabiri square in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on January 7, 2020, to mourn and condemn the death of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani (portrait-L), and nine others in a US air strike in Baghdad. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States, Israel and Iran all seem set to continue their roles in the fight in Syria. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, which largely determines Iran’s Syria strategy, is keeping the heat on Iran President Hassan Rouhani to maintain Iran’s focus on its commitments there, despite pressure and attacks from the United States and Israel.

Last week the United States introduced sanctions under the Caesar Act “to compel the government of Assad to halt its murderous attacks on the Syrian people and to support a transition to a government in Syria that respects the rule of law, human rights, and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors,” as US Syria envoy James Jeffrey explained.

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