The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Iranian-backed militiamen missing | Communication lost with nearly 10 militiamen of “Al-Abbas Brigade”, after hunting trip in Deir Ezzor desert

Reliable sources have told the Syrian Observatory that communication has been lost with a group of “Al-Abbas Brigade” militiamen of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the Syrian desert for days.


According to SOHR sources, a group of eight iranina-backed militiamen from Al-Mayadeen city in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor went to the desert for “hunting”, but all connections with them have been cut off to date. Reported suggested that the missing militiamen were killed by ISIS, which is active in the Syrian desert.


On Sunday, SOHR sources reported that military operations escalated in several areas in the Syrian desert, as ISIS noticeably stepped up its activities, including ambushes and attacks, targeting positions of regime forces and loyal militias. Meanwhile, regime forces continued their attempts to contain and put an end to ISIS mounting operations by launching large-scale operations, with considerable Russian air support.


The fierce clashes were concentrated in positions in Al-Sukhnah desert in the eastern countryside of Homs, at the administrative border with Deir Ezzor, and other positions in Aleppo-Hama-Al-Raqqah triangle, amid intensive and ongoing airstrikes by Russian jets.


On the other hand, Syrian Observatory activists documented large number of fatalities in those ongoing clashes and Russian airstrikes since early October, as 63 regime soldiers and loyalists were killed, while ISIS lost 70 members in the same period. The death toll is expected to rise further, as several soldiers and members were injured, some seriously, in addition to unconfirmed reports of more casualties.


Since 24th of March 2019, SOHR has documented the killing of at least 846 regime soldiers and loyalists of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities, including at least two Russians, and 140 Iranian-backed militiamen of non-Syrian nationalities. All were killed in attacks, bombings and ambushes by the “Islamic State”, west of Euphrates in the deserts of Deir Ezzor, Homs, and Al-Suwaidaa.


Also, four civilians working in gas fields, 11 shepherds and four other people were killed and documented by SOHR in the same period, from late March 2019 until today. They were killed in attacks by ISIS cells. While 460 ISIS members were also killed in attacks and bombardment in the same period.