Syria

Iran Increases Military Support to Assad in Syria

Getting money from Russia

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Iran is increasing its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an effort to ensure its Shiite ally stays in power, a U.S. State Department official said today.

Iran has supplied the Syrian regime with military equipment and is supporting Hezbollah troops who are increasingly involved in heavy front-line fighting, said the official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

Syria is also getting help from Russia, which continues to fill existing arms contracts with Syria and lets it skirt international financial sanctions by allowing the regime and individuals to use Russian banks, the official said.