Benefiting from its deep entrenchment since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, Iran countryside to gain in its underway cold war against Russia in controlling the Syrian decision, and Bashar al-Assad’s regime still has no say in the matter
The Russian – Iranian conflict continues to be the main Syrian scene, amid a stagnation of the military operations and being limited to ground and air escalation north of Syria, this general calm is being exploited by each party to the most, to strengthen their power on the ground and expand their influence to control the Syrian decision, and the cold war between Iran and its loyal militias on the ground against the Russians and their followers on Syrian territory; is now increasing the power influence of the Iranian side, where despite the main Russian presence within command headquarters and often controlling the Syrian decision; Iran has managed to expand its influence through the increase of its presence in the Syrian territory since the start of the Syrian revolution, and through standing side by side in clashes on the ground with the regime forces, Iran also managed to expand its influence and attract thousands of Syrians to its ranks not only through the material ways, but also through doctrines and religions ways as well, in addition to joining the young men who are at the age of the compulsory service to their ranks, in exchange for not withdrawing them to serve in the “Army of the Homeland”, all of which have made the Iranians set themselves as the actual ruler over a vast areas that are under the control of the Syrian regime.
While Russia is trying by various means to decrease the influence of the Iranians through coalitions with Turkey and agreements here and there, the latest of which is the Russian-Iranian disagreement over Tal Rifaat area, where Russia promised Turkey to hand over Tal Rifaat in return for opening the international highways of Damascus – Aleppo and Aleppo – Latakia, which Iran refuses due to the presence of Nubl and al-Zahraa of the doctrinal and symbolic significance to it in the area, and at the same time Iran is still going deep into the Syrian provinces through its godfathers, who attract more youths and men and polish the image of Iranians in front of the Syrians, maybe the Syrian south, al-Mayadin, and Deir Ezzor countryside are the best proof of this, where the “Shi’ism” operations continue in a secret and open ways there and they stretch and reach al-Hasaka Province, where areas of control of Syria Democratic Forces, which Russia met with great resentment, and reliable sources told the Syrian Observatory that Russia has informed leaders of the Syria Democratic Forces the need to find a solution to stop the expansion of the Iranians in al-Hasakah and in the Syria Democratic Forces’ controlled areas, and in the context of this Iranian-Russian fray, the Syrian regime remains powerless, and everybody knows that its existence is only a formality and cannot impose its influence and decision on any geographical spot in Syria, even if this spot at the Syrian coast which was its former source of strength, but now it became a battleground in which both Iran and Russia are fighting, just like Damascus, Aleppo, the Syrian south, central Syria, and all the Syrian land under the control of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
While the Syrian Observatory published on the 14th of April 2019 that conflicts over Syrian capabilities and influence in the country continue, by forces trying to stretch within Syria in a variety of ways and means, including political, military, and economical means, in addition to the doctrinal and intellectual ways, and at a time when the international parties are claiming to be heading towards peaceful solutions and the like; the same forces are expanding their control in the Syrian interior, while the conflict rages between Iran and its loyal military militias against the Russians, their followers, and loyalists on the Syrian territory, where the Syrian desert and most of the Syrian territory became a field of the conflict, where the Syrian Observatory monitored the increase in number of volunteers in the ranks of Iranian forces and their affiliated militias recently to about 1385 people, of Syrian youths and men of different ages, within the west Euphrates area in Deir Ezzor countryside, while the number of volunteers in southern Syria rose to more than 2470 volunteers, in a continuation for the Iranian expansion process in the Syrian interior militarily, starting from the west of Euphrates River to the south of Syria and the border With the occupied Syrian Golan, at a time when the Israeli warplanes are carrying out airstrikes and raids on the Syrian territory.
This Iranian expansion has not been accepted by the Russians, their followers, and loyalists on the Syrian territory, where the Iranian expansion from the west of Euphrates River to the south of Syria and from the Syrian-Iraqi border to the Syrian coast has become strong and entrenched, while Russia is working to curb the Iranian rein in Syria, these steps were evident through replacing checkpoints of militias loyal to Iran and the regime in the vicinity of Putin – Erdogan demilitarized area; with members of the forces of the 5th Corps which is loyal to Russia and supported by it, after the demise of the Organization and its end in Baghuz area and east of Euphrates as a dominant military force, but still, the escape operations from the large enclave of the Organization in the Syrian desert continue, where this is the last geographical location for ISIS in the Syrian Desert northeast of Palmyra, and extends within the administrative borders of Deir Ezzor Province, where the Syrian Observatory monitored the escape of members of the Organization out of this enclave, through sabotage operations Organized by members of the militias loyal to Iranian and the regime to deliver them to the frontiers of Idlib province, and to areas controlled by Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham and the factions, in exchange of $1500 USD per person, where tens of persons were smuggled and reliable sources confirmed that the smuggling was carried out through transferring members and their families aboard military vehicles and in various ways, to the crossings and to areas of contact with the areas that are not controlled by the regime forces in Idlib, and the Syrian Observatory monitored during the last 3 weeks that the Irani – Russian conflict is not only a struggle for influence, it is a financial struggle as well, a struggle for looting, a struggle for the pockets of Syrians and their money, and a struggle to satisfy the greed of them both, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has obtained information confirmed by credible sources that this conflict between both parties -who are allies of the Syrian regime- turned to a conflict over the checkpoints, power, and inspection points in the Syrian desert, and in the area stretching from Homs to the western bank of Euphrates River, where the Syrian Observatory monitored the presence of about 40 checkpoint of pro-Iranian militias and pro-Russian militias, from the outskirts of Homs city to al-Bokamal city in the eastern sector of Deir Ezzor countryside on the west bank of Euphrates River, where these checkpoints compete and fight over inspection points which generate huge daily profits, and the reliable sources of the Syrian Observatory confirmed that the imposed royalties on them reached about 100 million Syrian pounds on a batch of tankers loaded with oil and its derivatives, where these tanks in particular are not allowed to pass without paying royalties.
the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the Iranian forces -amid this hostility- continuing its intellectual incursions to expand its military influence and control inside the Syrian territory, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the continued movement of Iranian Forces in recruiting more members within its ranks, approaching the population and carrying out more “Shi’ism” operations by joining more residents to the Shiite doctrine by paying money, providing aid, or trying to resolve unresolved issues among the people, and the last of what the Syrian Observatory was able to document is the increase in number of volunteers to the Iranian forces and its affiliated militias recently to about 1200 Syrian youths and men of different ages, within the west of Euphrates area in Deir Ezzor countryside.
The beginning of the Russian stop for Iran inside the Syrian territory and getting it out of the internal solutions and participation in it -despite the Iranian military expansion and at the negotiations level-, was after the stop of the military operation of the regime forces and its allies, after the control of Abu al-Duhur airbase and after they had enough with what the regime forces advanced to, after it managed to control a large number of villages in the eastern and southeastern sectors of Idlib countryside, and the Russians and the regime refrained from advancing to break the siege of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya towns in the northeastern countryside of Idlib, which were inhabited by Shiite citizens with thousands of fighters of both towns, then, Iran and its allies refrained from participating in the process of the Eastern Ghouta or they were prevented by the Russians, while Russia did not start the operations in the south except after a Russian-regional consensus on the return of Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah to a 40 km distance away of the border strip with the occupied Syrian Golan, and after its military withdrawal; the process of controlling the Syrian south began, while the Syrian Observatory monitored earlier the Russian proposal for Hezbollah and Iranians to withdraw and head towards the west of Euphrates to fight the “Islamic State” Organization, after the Iranian forces and Hezbollah refused to go to the Syrian south, and that took place during negotiations about the south of Damascus and the south of Rif Dimashq.
The Syrian south also witnessed extensive volunteer operations by the Iranian forces, who returned after their military withdrawal in the form of recruitment campaigns in their ranks for the Syrian members, in addition to attempting to converting people to “Shi’ism” by paying salaries, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented that in the Syrian south more than 2350 people have joined their ranks, also members of the Iranian forces have been seen repeatedly wandering in the countryside of Daraa and Quneitra, while Russia is working to escalate the process of excluding the Iranians from decision-making positions and controlling the Syrian details, by trying to stop the Iranians in the Syrian coast and the countryside Homs and Hama, and by sizing the Iranian role in Idlib and Aleppo Province, but the widespread Iranian deployment on the military, ideological, and sectarian levels prevents the Russians from stopping the Iranians for the time being, despite the global trend and the Arab trend in particular to fight the Iranian presence especially on the Syrian soil, while Turkey is balancing its relations with the Iranian side greatly.
Where the Syrian Observatory monitored that this enlisting includes both former defected members of the regime forces and those wishing to “settle their situation,” as well as former fighters in ranks of regime’s opponents, and other citizens the sources said that most of them were from al-Quriyah area in the countryside of al-Mayadin city, the sources told the Syrian Observatory that the process of luring the citizens to come was through a monthly salary, and letting them choosing the place of service between going to the battlefronts or stay at the training center west of Euphrates River, in addition to the immunity from the regime forces and from being arrested, where they are enlisted for monthly salaries vary from west of Euphrates to the south of Syria, where these salaries start from US $ 150 to about US $ 300, depending on its proximity to the Syrian border with the occupied Syrian Golan, where the salary increases as the distance to the occupied Syrian Golan gets closer, also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored continuous attempts by the Iranians to entice civilians in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor on the road to Tehran – Beirut, trying to establish an popular base in the area, which will prevent the loss of the strategic road between Iranian capital Tehran and the Lebanese capital Beirut, which is used by the Iranian forces mainly. these enticing attempts come through their attempts to return the rights of the residents, of those whose belongings were seized by volunteers and conscripts in the Iranian militias, to earn the love of the population and satisfy them and to push them to join their ranks, they also distribute food, clothes, blankets, and other daily tools and study tools, all of them have Persian writings, and the Iranian forces through their spreading are preventing the regime forces from abusing the population and return their belongings to them, where the people now go to the Iranian forces to get back their stolen property taken rights by the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them.
While the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the Russia-established 5th Corps arrested about 15 members of the National Defense Forces in Hama countryside, where the arrest were accompanied by shooting, and the information that spoke back them about clashes between the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them against the Russian-established 5th Corps were completely false, back then the false news talked about tens of casualties in the ranks of both parties, and the Syrian Observatory monitored in the last 5 weeks that a rivalry is taking place between the Iranian forces and their loyal militias , and between the regime forces; about residents of al-Mayadin city in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, of who are within the age of compulsory service or the reserve service, and in the details monitored by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the military intelligence of the regime carried out an arrest operation in al-Mayadin city in the eastern sector of Deir Ezzor countryside west of Euphrates River, and took them for the reserve duty in the ranks of regime’s Army, to which thousands of members had arrived of its members and allies to areas west of Euphrates on the strategic road of Tehran – Beirut, while the withdrawal of tens of civilians to the reserve service in the ranks of regime’s army comes in a competition between the regime forces and the Iranians on the remaining civilians in al-Mayadin city, and at a time where the regime forces are arresting and taking young people wanted to perform reserve service, Iran is working hard through its militias to bring more young people to its ranks, after it managed to include hundreds of them within its forces stationed in al-Mayadin and west of Euphrates River.
The Syrian Observatory monitored previously that 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
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored in the recent days that the Azan is raised within the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor according to the Shiite doctrine, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: al-Tammu neighborhood on the road of Qal’aat al-Rahba near the Power Station in al-Mayadin city, on the west banks of Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, witnessed repeating the Azan in al-Tammu mosque, which the Iranians take it as their own in neighborhood the city, where the sources confirmed that the neighborhood includes more than 250 members of Iranian forces and militias of the Shiite sect, and they take the houses of the neighborhood as their residence out of about 800 members of these forces and militias, the Azan was heard in the neighborhood’s Mosque and the people noticed the words of the Azan were spoken according to the Shiite doctrine, which are repeated at all times of Azan, also this mosque where the Azan is being raised is considered a private mosque, and it is prevented for those who are not officers of members of the Iranians and followers of the Shiite sect to enter it.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that tens of Asian families have arrived to the west of Euphrates River, coming to areas of control of the Iranian Forces and their allied militias within the eastern sector of Deir Ezzor countryside, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: about 50 families of the Iranian and Afghan families arrived at al-Mayadin city west of Euphrates River, they are families of fighters in the Iranian and Afghan militias of the Shiite sect, also these families speak Persian and the languages spoken in Afghanistan, the sources confirmed that they were resettled in the area of Dahr al-Alwa in al-Mayadin city, in houses where the “Islamic State” seized previously under the pretext of “their owners are in the countries of the infidels”.
The Syrian Observatory’s reliable sources also confirmed that the arrival of these families came after the Irani Revolutionary Guard opened the door of “enlisting” in its forces operating on the Syrian territory within Deir Ezzor Province for the first time in the countryside of Deir Ezzor province, and the sources confirmed that this is the first time the enlisting in the ranks of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces is opened, where previously the enlisting only included the Iranian-funded militias which are backed by the Iranian Forces, such as al-Nujabaa militias, Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas, and Hezbollah, while the majority of the Syrian volunteers are from the provinces of Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, and Rif Dimashq.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published recently that Israeli escalation has surpassed a complete year of escalation since early April 2018 until the 13th of April 2019, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights continue to monitor the Israeli escalation whether by missile strikes or air raids, which targeted Iranian and other sites belong to militias operating under its command and sites of the Lebanese Hezbollah, and the last targeting of these strikes was for the accounting school in Masyaf city, the middle-range missiles development center in al-Zawi village, and Tala’ee camp in Sheikh Ghadban village in the countryside of Masyaf of the Iranian Forces and the Syrian regime forces, where the Israeli strikes targeted the location of al-Zawi area on the 23rd of July 2018, also the last strikes before that targeted Aleppo international airport and the area that leads to the industrial city, the vicinity of Damascus International airport, weapons depots and ammunition in Baniyas suburbs, Masyaf Mountains in the Syrian coast, the western countryside of Hama, suburbs of the capital Damascus, and “Itm’enan Support Center” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard near al-Neirab airbase at the eastern outskirts of Aleppo city, al-Mazzeh airbase, al-Harri area in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, areas in the northern and middle countryside of Quneitra, al-Dabaa Airbase in the southwestern countryside of Homs, campus and the vicinity of the T4 airbase in the eastern sector of Homs countryside, the 47th Brigade and Salhab area in the western countryside of Hama, and locations near the towns of Hodr, Khan Arnabah, and al-Baath city in Quneitra countryside, al-Kiswah area in Rif Dimashq, the area of al-Dumayr military airport, the Triangle of Daraa – Al-Quneitra – al-Suwaidaa of Rif Dimashq, areas of Neirab airbase and Aleppo International Airport, and 2 explosions also hit the military airport of Hama and a location of the Iranian forces in the southern countryside of Aleppo.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored large number of casualties during these strikes, where these heavy strikes caused significant casualties in the ranks of the Iranian forces and the militias operating under its command, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented in about a year of Israeli escalation the killing of more than 146 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 death of about 58 members of the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them including officers since April 2018.
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 13th of April 2019, where at least 8109 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 1677 at least members of the Lebanese Hezbollah.