>> I'm Rami Ruhayem. I'm a senior correspondent for Reuters based in Beirut. The story that we recently published is looking at the critical role that Iran played in the Syria conflict. And particularly now with the fall of Aleppo what that means for Iran and the region. It appears now that the city of Mosul really is about to fall in a number of ways, that basically the Syrian government and its allies with Iran and Russia and so on are about to retake control of Aleppo.
It is a big moment, it is really a big strategic victory for Iran. Essentially Iran, if they are also able with their allies to help secure Mosul and Tal Afar in that Northwestern part of Iraq. It would essentially give Iran an arc of influence. What's been called by critics and supporters of Iran as a Shiite Crescent.
Iran's approach has been very different than other supporters of the opposition like Saudi Arabia or Qatar. In those cases, what we're hearing from diplomats who are aware of the details of the conflict and from analysts, is that those Gulf powers that were supporting the opposition mainly sent money and weapons to the opposition.
But Iran actually sent men on the ground, they sent revolutionary guard commanders. These were seasoned senior commanders, some of them who had experience going back to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. So they had a lot of military experience and they brought that to bear on the battlefield.
They came and actually helped organize the militias. And to guide the battle on the ground. And that appears to be what has really made the key difference here in retaking Aleppo