Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Soleimani, Iran-Backed Militias Reported in Syria’s Albu Kamal

Soleimani, Iran-Backed Militias Reported in Syria’s Albu Kamal

Tuesday, 21 November, 2017 - 09:30
Commander of Iran’s Quds Force Qassem Soleimani. (AP)

Media affiliated with the Syrian regime and Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” released on Monday a video recording that showed commander of Iran’s Quds Force Qassem Soleimani in Syria’s city of Albu Kamal.

The city, located in the southeastern Deir al-Zour province, was seized from the ISIS terrorist group by the regime, “Hezbollah” and Iranian-backed militias last week.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Soleimani led the operations against ISIS. Albu Kamal was considered the last of the group’s strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

Soleimani was seen walking among the militants, who clamored to take photographs with him, said the British-based monitor.

It added that the Iranian commander had crossed into Syria from Iraq and the regime and its militant backers continued to fortify their positions in Albu Kamal some 24 hours after they recaptured it from ISIS.

Activists reported that clashes continued in the areas surrounding the city.

Director of the Observatory Rami Abdul Rahman said the regime offensive to capture Albu Kamal was led by Soleimani. More that 110 regime, Lebanese and Iranian militia forces were killed in the battles and hundreds were wounded.

The liberation of Albu Kamal marks the beginning of ISIS’ total defeat in Deir al-Zour because it now only controls some villages and towns.

The regime, with the backing of Russia, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, “Hezbollah” and Iranian Revolutionary Guards, now controls some 43 percent of the province that extends west of the Euphrates River and reaches the administrative border of Raqqa.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which have been waging their own Deir al-Zour offensive against ISIS since September, now control 37.7 percent of the province.

Editor Picks