Iranian instructors from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were seen in Belarus training Russian troops and coordinating launches of Iranian-made drones, a report said on Sunday.
According to the Ukrainian National Resistance Center, “a group of Iranian instructors, officers of the IRGC, who are under the highest protection of the Russian National Guard and FSB (Federal Security Service) officers” was spotted in the village of Mykulichi, in the Gomel region, which borders Ukraine in the east.
“According to information from Belarusian partisans, it was these instructors who coordinated the launches of the “Shahed-136” UAVs at infrastructure facilities in the Kyiv region and the northern and western regions of Ukraine,” the report said, adding that Russian troops have taken control of major air bases in western Belarus and use them to carry out attacks on Ukrainian territory.
The center has previously reported that Iranian instructors were seen in the occupied region of Kherson which is currently being evacuated by the Russian authorities amid the Ukrainian counter-offensive. Last week, U.S. officials also confirmed the center’s reports on Iranian personnel being deployed to the annexed Crimea peninsula.
Earlier in October, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that Minsk and Moscow will deploy a joint military task force in response to what he called an “aggravation of tension” on the country’s western borders. His statement came shortly after the explosion on the Crimea bridge that provoked Russian troops to strike Ukrainian cities using Iranian-made kamikaze drones, which Tehran has denied.
A senior Ukrainian official confirmed to The New York Times, that Israel is sharing intelligence with Ukraine on Iranian drones after Jerusalem refused last week to provide Kyiv with air defense systems, avoiding direct confrontation with Russia.