The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Idlib | Militias loyal to Lebanese Hezbollah and Iran reinforce their presence along eastern line of international road M5, bringing in new military reinforcement

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has monitored today new military reinforcement brought in by regime forces and militias loyal to the Lebanese Hezbollah. The reinforcement headed towards their positions in the city of Saraqeb and its surroundings in eastern countryside of Idlib, where vehicles loaded with soldiers and military and logistical equipment arrived in Saraqeb from the southern Aleppo countryside. This is the second time that these militias have brought in such reinforcement in a week.

It is worth nothing that militias backed by Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are stationed in the area east of the M5 international road from the north of Ma’rat al-Numan to southern Aleppo countryside, and from east of Tal Mardikh, east of Idlib to Ikarda, south of Aleppo.

On August 11, SOHR activists reported that regime forces and Hezbollah-backed militias continue looting civilians’ properties in areas which have recently come under control of the Syrian regime, after forcing the residents to displace. Members of regime-backed militias and the Lebanese Hezbollah appeared in a video footage, of which the Syrian Observatory received a copy, devastating the roofs of residential houses in the western neighbourhood of Saraqeb city in the eastern countryside of Idlib. The militiamen extract metal objects and steel from the rubble in order to sell them, after they had looted the civilians’ houses and stole their contents.

On May 22, Observatory activists monitored members of Iranian-backed militias, Lebanese Hezbollah and Syrian regime commemorating the “Quds Day” in Saraqeb city in the eastern countryside of Idlib. The Palestinian “Liwa al-Quds”, Iranian-backed militias and the Lebanese Hezbollah raised signboards in Saraqeb city with slogans written on them, they read “America is the utmost devil – Al-Quds is the capital of Palestine”.

The participated militiamen also lifted posters of the former IRGC-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, and burned American and Israeli flags.

The city of Saraqeb has been empty of population as its residents fled the military operations in the area a few months earlier. These operations led the regime forces and loyal militias to capture the city after fierce hit-and-run clashes with Turkish-backed factions and Jihadi groups in February.