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Iran Recruits 9,000 Young Fighters in South, Northeast Syria

Iran Recruits 9,000 Young Fighters in South, Northeast Syria

Tuesday, 17 March, 2020 - 06:45
An aerial view taken on August 3, 2019, shows destroyed buildings in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the southern countryside of Idlib | (AFP)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that Iran has lately increased the number of recruits within its ranks in the southern and northeastern parts of Syria.

The Observatory said Tehran recruited around 9,000 Syrians, as Russian forces were busy fighting in Idlib, northwest of the country.

“There are currently more than 5,350 volunteers in southern Syria, while the number of recent recruits in the ranks of Iranian forces and loyal militias in the west Euphrates region, rose to nearly 3,600 Syrians,” it said.

The watchdog explained that Iranian forces and their loyal militias, like the Lebanese Hezbollah, are continuing to spread “Shi’ism” and to recruit youths in southern Syria and the western banks of the Euphrates River, by offering financial incentives and continuous usage of religion and sectarianism.

In Daraa, Iranians and Hezbollah were recruiting men and young people through their proxies, such as “Saraya al-Areen” of Brigade 313 in north of Daraa, and Shiite centers in Sayda, Da’el, and Izraa. The Observatory said the recent recruits undergo training courses in Al-Lajat area, east Daraa.

In Quneitra, near the border with the Occupied Golan, Hezbollah continues to reinforce its presence by attracting young people who have defaulted the reserve and mandatory service and fled regime security pursuit.

“Those young people hurry to join the ranks of Iranian-backed militias because of the deteriorating living conditions and lack of job opportunities. Conversions to Shiite Islam and recruitment operations in Al-Quneitra province are concentrated in Al-Baath city and Khan Arnabah,” the Observatory noted.

Recruitment operations are also ongoing in west Euphrates region, exactly in a fully Iranians-controlled area stretching from Al-Mayadin to Al-Bokamal in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

The Syrian Observatory has documented that Iranian militias intentionally intensify these recruitment operations, at a time when the Russian side is preoccupied with military operations and recent agreements with Turkey regarding Northern Syria.

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