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

Iranian Militias Arrest 11 Syrian Loyalists

Iranian Militias Arrest 11 Syrian Loyalists

Thursday, 2 February, 2023 - 09:30
A Syrian army soldier stands on a damaged building in Deraa al Balaad, Syria, September 9, 2021. REUTERS/Yamam al Shaar

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Lebanese Hezbollah arrested 11 Iran-backed Syrian fighters in al-Bokamal and al-Mayadin, under the control of the regime forces and Iranian militias.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) quoted sources as saying that the arrests were due to their interrogation following charges of communicating with the international coalition and Israel.

The Observatory claimed that Iranian militias and Hezbollah lost confidence in their Syrian loyalists and suspected they provided the coalition with information about movements and locations.

It indicated that a delegation of top commanders and investigation units, headed by the security officer of the Iranian militias in Syria, went to Deir Ezzor.

Reports indicated that Iranian leaders intend to change commanders in charge of the crossing, fearing Israeli or international coalition agents could be among them.

The IRGC militias began evacuating many of their military headquarters in al-Bokamal, amid a state of alert among militia members and their deployment in the streets.

The areas under the control of the Iranian militias on the Syrian-Lebanese border and the vicinity of Damascus are on security alert, and the militias banned anyone from approaching the main military headquarters.

They evacuated many residential buildings inhabited by militia members and leaders.

The SOHR sources indicated that security reinforcements were sent to the headquarters of the Iranian militias and Hezbollah.

Iranian militias fear security breaches that may affect the region's military sites, headquarters, and weapons depots.

Meanwhile, 11 pro-Iranian fighters were killed in three separate airstrikes that targeted, in less than 24 hours, trucks in eastern Syria after they had successively crossed from the Iraqi side.

The border region between eastern Syria and Iraq is one of the most prominent areas of influence of Iran and its loyal groups in Syria, including Iraqi factions.

Over the years, trucks carrying weapons, ammunition, warehouses, and military sites have been subjected to airstrikes, some of which the US claimed responsibility for, while others were attributed to Israel.

Editor Picks