The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Fearing Israeli attacks | Dozens of local fighters leave Iranian militias and join Russian-backed forces in Deir ez-Zor

Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that dozens of al-Bukamal tribal fighters from eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zour, who are affiliated with the pro-Iranian militias, have left these militias and joined the 5th Corps established by Russia, which is strongly present in the area lately.

According to Syrian Observatory sources, the number of fighters who left pro-Iranian militias and joined the Fifth Corps has reached nearly 34. The number is expected to rise significantly in the coming days. This shift in loyalty comes in light of the escalating attacks on Iranian forces and their loyal militias by Israel, particularly on Deir ez-Zor in general and Al-Bukamal in particular, most recent was a few days ago, in which 57 people were killed.

In November 2020, SOHR sources said that Iran noticeably escalated recruitment operations 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.