المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Iranian military in Syria | Despite Israel’s escalating strikes, Iran continues “Shi’aism” proselytising operations

Nearly 11,700 Syrians recruited in southern Syria and eastern Euphrates region

Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militiamen, including the Lebanese Hezbollah, continue recruiting more people in southern Syria and on the western banks of the Euphrates River, exploiting the dire living conditions in regime-controlled areas. “Shi’aism” proselytising operations (conversion to Shiite) are underway secretly and in public through offering financial incentives and continuous usage of religion and sectarianism.

Techniques and methods of recruitment have become clear to everyone, as in the west Euphrates region, exactly in a fully Iranian-controlled area stretching from Al-Mayadin to Al-Bokamal in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor near the border with the occupied Syrian Golan, the Lebanese Hezbollah continues strengthening their presence by attracting young people who have avoided and escaped the reserve and mandatory military service and fled regime security pursuit. In addition, the Iranians exploit the lack of job opportunities, currency plunge and prohibitively high prices. Conversions to Shiite and recruitment operations are concentrated in Al-Baath city and Khan Arnabah.

While in Daraa province, it is well-known that conversions to Shiite and recruitment operations are accomplished through pro-Iranian spiritual figures in centres such as “Saraya al-Areen” of the 313th Brigade in northern Daraa, and Shiite centres in Sayda, Da’el, Izraa and other areas in the eastern countryside of Daraa. It is worth noting that the recent recruits undergo training courses, mostly in Al-Lajat area.

According to SOHR statistics, the number of volunteers in southern Syria exceeded 6,600. Meanwhile, the number of recent recruits in the ranks of Iranian forces and loyal militias in the west Euphrates region rose to nearly 5,100 Syrian young people and men.

Iranian militias intentionally intensify these recruitment operations, exploiting the deteriorating Syrian economic conditions and Russia’s preoccupation with recent agreements with Turkey regarding the “de-escalation zone” and north-eastern Syria. Moreover, the repeated Israeli strikes and attacks on the Iranian positions in Syrian territory, which cause great losses and damage , have not undermine the Iranian forces and their loyalists who refuse to leave Syria and are content with troops redeployment and change positions from time to time.

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