The Iranian Forces and the Shiite militias: Spreading and holding their presence west of Euphrates and various Syrian areas through ideological, sectarian, and material extension after the large military presence with tens of thousands of fighters
The Iranian forces present on the Syrian territory which possess thousands of members deployed on Syrian territory, are expanding this deployment not only on the military aspect, but in other aspects as well, which may enable them to move away from regional and international monitoring. Intersected sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the Iranian forces have intensified their presence in addition to the presence of those supported by them on a sectarian, material, or intellectual basis in the west of Euphrates, and this presence was manifested in two main areas, al-Bokamal and al-Mayadin, where they constitute an important areas for the Iranians who have been strongly involved in the clashes of control of them both, and the Iranian General Qasim Soleimani has led the battles of control of al-Bokamal, where reliable sources confirmed to the Observatory that the Iranian Forces control the way of life within al-Bokamal and the security and economic aspects within the city as well, not to mention their control of the military aspect and the leadership of forces located at this place.
The Syrian Observatory monitored the Iranians positioning at key points in al-Mayadin area to the west of al-Bokamal, where their positioning is represented by an Afghani charitable kitchen, in which the Iranian-backed Afghani militias prepare and distribute meals to the people and the displaced people, also the Secondary Sharia School of al-Mayadin city was transformed into an affiliation center for the Iranian and Shiite militias, which sometimes includes Shiite-related symposia and conferences, also the Iranian forces and Asian gunmen of the Shiite citizens are positioned in Hawi area at al-Mayadin city, also reliable sources confirmed that the Iranians set up a Husseinieh and Mazar in the Nabe’ Ayn Ali, which is located between al-Mayadin and Mahkan, where the Syrian Observatory monitored the arrival of buses carrying Iranians from the “Shiite visitors” of the Iranians, Syrians, and Iraqis, where carried out Shiite sectarian rituals in the area which is witnessing a large military presence of the Iranian Forces, also the Iranian Forces are deployed in the area between the sheep market and al-Rahba castle in al-Mayadin, where there are military forces prevent the entry and exit of anyone of the non-Iranians of both civilians and militaries, amid heavy guard and permanent flight of drones over the area.
The Syrian Observatory also monitored the presence of Iranian forces in the countryside of Salamiyah city at the eastern countryside of Hama, in training centers and affiliation centers in al-Sabbura and other areas of the countryside of Hama, with an earlier presence in the 47th Brigade in Hama countryside, and in the northern and northwestern countryside of Aleppo and in the contact lines with the factions in the southern countryside of Aleppo, the Syrian Desert, and other areas of Syria in the countryside of Homs, Hama, and Rif Dimashq, and the Syrian Observatory published earlier that the Israeli forces resumed the escalation of their strikes targeting certain sites on the Syrian territory, as part of the continuous escalation since the beginning of April 2018, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored during the past 5 months the Israeli warplanes and missile strikes targeting Iranian and other militia sites under their command, as well as sites of the Lebanese Hezbollah, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored air and missile strikes targeted the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, weapons depots and ammunition on the outskirts of Baniyas and Masyaf mountains in the Syrian coast and the western countryside of Hama, the vicinity of Damascus International Airport and the suburbs of the capital Damascus, “Itm’enan Support Center” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards located near Neirab airbase at the eastern outskirts of Aleppo city, Mazzeh Airbase, al-Harri area in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, and areas in the northern and middle countryside of Quneitra, al-Dabaa Airbase in the southwestern countryside of Homs, the campus and vicinity of the T4 Airbase in the eastern countryside of Homs, Brigade 47 and, Salhab area in the western countryside of Hama, sites near the towns of Khan Arnabah and al-Baath city in the countryside of Quneitra, al-Kiswah area in Rif Dimashq, al-Dumayr Airbase area, the triangle of Daraa – Quneitra southwest of Rif Dimashq, Neirab airbase and Aleppo International Airport, also 2 explosions hit Hama Airbase and a position of the Iranian Forces in the southern countryside of Aleppo, also 2 explosions hit Hama airbase and a location of the Iranian Forces in the southern countryside of Aleppo.
These airstrikes have caused significant casualties in the ranks of the Iranian Forces and their loyal militias, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the killing of more than 113 of the Iranian Forces and their loyal and affiliated forces, as a result of Israeli missile and aerial strikes, which targeted their sites, warehouses, and missiles in several areas in the northern and central of Syria and in the southern Syrian and the Desert since early April 2018, and 28 members at least of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them of Syrian nationality have been killed as a result of explosions in ammunition and fuel depots at Hama airbase west of Hama city, also, news were published about tens of Israeli media strikes against locations of the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them and the Lebanese Hezbollah, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the killing of 40 members of the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them including 2 officers since last April 2018.
And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the absence of the Iranian party and its forces from the military participation in these areas, against the backdrop of the cessation of the military operation that was taking place in the eastern and southeastern countryside of Idlib, and not continuing it towards the towns of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya in northeast of Idlib city, which are inhabited by citizens of the Shia sect.
And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published days ago that In conjunction with local, regional and international talk about the stay or withdrawal of Iranian Forces and their loyal and affiliated armed militias, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights -so far- has not monitored any withdrawals by the Iranian military forces, the Iraqi, Afghan and Asian militias, and, the Lebanese Hezbollah from their military positions on the Syrian territory, where the above-mentioned forces remain in their military positions which are spread in most of the Syrian areas, and these sites are distributed between al-Kiswah area and the southwest of Rif Dimashq, the southern countryside of Aleppo, the surroundings the towns of Nubl and Zahra in the northern countryside of Aleppo, the eastern countryside of Idlib, the northern and southern countryside of Hama and Sahl al-Ghab in the northwestern countryside of Hama, al-Qalamoun, Zabadani plain, southwestern countryside of Homs, al-Bokamal, and the Deserts of Homs and Deir Ezzor.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained information from reliable sources about the numbers of Iranian Forces and their loyal militias of Lebanese, Iraqi, Afghan, Iranian and Asian nationalities, where the number is estimated to be more than 32000 non-Syrian fighters, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the killing of thousands of them, since the start of the Syrian revolution in March 2011 until the 23rd of May 2018, where at least 8100 members of the non-Syrians mostly from the Shia sect who fight under the banner of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their militias of Afghans, Iraqis and Asians, in addition to 1670 at least members of the Lebanese Hezbollah.