IRGC shuffles Iranian airlines for smuggling after Israeli attack

After an Israeli attack on June 10 briefly closed the Damascus airport, sources told Iran Briefing, that two Iranian airlines have suspended flights to Syria.

According to Western intelligence sources, only Mahan Air, which the US sanctioned in 2011 for supplying weapons to Iranian proxies at the start of the Syrian Civil War, is flying to Syria currently after Caspian Air and Qeshm Fars Air stopped doing so.

Due to its connections to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and its extraterritorial Qods (Quds) Force, Caspian Air is also under American sanctions (IRGC-QF). The US also imposed sanctions on Qeshm Cargo Airlines in 2019 because it was a subsidiary of Mahan Air and gave the IRGC-QF substantial support. The Revolutionary Guard is thought to have founded and owned all three airlines.

Iran Briefing has learned that Mahan Air flights have surged by 30% as a result of the other two carriers’ suspension of operations. The majority of Mahan flights travel to Aleppo.

The sources said that Mahan Air also transports illicit products to Syria in addition to bringing weapons without paying taxes or customs fees.

When Qasem Soleimani was in charge of the extraterritorial military-intelligence organization, Mahan Air was completely under IRGC-QF control. There were several reports concerning the airline’s involvement in the supply of weapons. In January 2020, a focused US airstrike on Baghdad resulted in Soleimani’s death.

Mahan Air appears to be the preferred method for the IRGC-QF given the ongoing Israeli attacks on Iranian weapons storage facilities in Syria.

In contrast to its typical silence on its assaults on Iranian targets in Syria, the Israeli attack on the airport in Damascus on June 10 which was Israel’s fifteenth bombing in Syria, was publicly announced by the Israeli government.

Latest news
Related news