Defection | Group of 13 Iranian-backed militiamen flees to SDF-held areas, after attacking their positions and throwing them into battles against ISIS
Deir Ezzor Province – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: SOHR sources have confirmed that a group of Iranian-backed militiamen, who had served in Al-Bokamal countryside, has split and fled to SDF-held areas in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, after crossing Euphrates River by ferries with the help of smugglers.
According to SOHR sources, this group have comprised 13 members of the Iranian-backed “47th Brigade”, most of whose members are from the region, and they have been forced to join this militia in order to evade mandatory and reserve service in regime army as well as the deteriorating economy and poor living conditions.
This development comes after the recent aerial and rocket strikes which targeted positions of Iranian-backed militias in the region, let alone the throwing of these militiamen into fierce battles with ISIS on frontlines in Deir Ezzor desert during combing operations.
Meanwhile, recruitment has been noticeably escalating in the area from Al-Mayadin to Al-Bokamal in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, which is fully controlled by Iranian forces. Russia, however, seeks to reduce Iran’s role, launching frequent security campaigns with militias loyal to Russia and Syrian regime and paying periodical visits to Iran-held areas; not to mention Russia’s prior knowledge of Israeli strikes which target the Iranians in western Euphrates region.
According to SOHR statistics, the number of volunteers in southern Syria has exceeded 8,600. Meanwhile, the number of recent recruits in the ranks of Iranian forces and loyal militias in the west Euphrates region in Deir Ezzor countryside has risen to nearly 7,450 Syrian young males and adult men.
Iranian militias intentionally intensify these recruitment operations, exploiting Russia’s preoccupation with recent agreements with Turkey regarding the “de-escalation zone” and north-eastern Syria.