The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Media cover-up: Russian forces remove signs of Iranian presence and replace them with own flags and Putin pictures in Al-Mayadeen

Reliable sources have informed SOHR that Russian forces stationed in Al-Mayadeen city in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, removed all flags, banners and signs of the Iranian-backed militias in the area of Al-Kurnish street and Al-Bal’oum roundabout in the city. The Russians kept the internationally recognized Syrian flags, along with hanging  pictures of the Russian president Vladimir Putin, and raising the Russian flag.

According to SOHR sources, these developments come in the wake of a visit by a Russian media delegation for a photo-opportunity tour in the area, since the Russian forces want to show that the area is free of Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militiamen.

On April 20, SOHR sources reported that Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militias evacuated some of their headquarters in Al-Mayadeen city in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, moving them to the city’s outskirts.

The Iranians have evacuated the building of Finance Department and some surrounding buildings taken by militias of the Iraqi Hezbollah as their headquarters. The mosque of Ze Al-Nourin and other surrounding houses -the headquarters of the Iranian-backed militia “Al-Haydariyoun”- have been also evacuated.

Reliable SOHR sources say that the headquarters have been transferred to buildings constructed by the Iranian militias in Al-Mazare’ area, nearly eight km away from Al-Mayadeen city.

The Iranian militias have deployed large amounts of heavy weapons in Al-Mazare’ area, including cannons, artillery pieces and rocket launchers. Accordingly, the area of Al-Mazare’ now has large concentrations of Iranian forces and loyal militias.