Iranian military in Syria in September 2021 | Human and material losses in four airstrikes…ongoing demographic change…recruitment of more young and adult men • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Iranian military in Syria in September 2021 | Human and material losses in four airstrikes…ongoing demographic change…recruitment of more young and adult men

Iranian forces and their proxy militias still continue strengthening their presence throughout regime-held areas, disregarding the “cold war” with Russians and the repeated airstrikes by Israel and International Coalition, which are unable to put an end to such efforts or even hinder them.

 

In the following report, SOHR highlights the key developments in areas dominated by the Iranians in September 2021.

 

 

Rif Dimashq and Aleppo: Demographic change and recruitment of more youth in progress

 

While living conditions crisis continues across different ears in Syria, Iran-backed factions have been still exploiting the needs of people and the shortage of job opportunities against the low wages amid hiking prices in difficulty of securing the sources of income in an attempt to lure more men and adults.

 

In east Aleppo, SOHR activists have reported continuous recruitment process for the interest of Iran-backed factions that are led by Afghani Liwaa Fatimyoun for some financial advantages and concessions.

 

According to SOHR number of the recruited persons was up to 1,540 since the escalation of the recruitment process in February 2021 until today. The recruitment process is based on Maskanah, al-Safirah, Deri Hafez areas and other towns and villages in east Aleppo that have been concluded via mediators and offices that offered generous funds.

 

On the other hand, the selling drugs and Hash has become phenomenon in Aleppo city where large quantities if narcotics entered and sold for the young males via Syrian mediators who are protected by Iran-backed factions in Aleppo countryside. It is worth noting that the profits of trading narcotics go to the factions. According to SOHR, someone named “R.O.” who is the main distributor for Has in Aleppo city has been selling the drugs via mediators in the neighborhood at sight of the Syrian regime security services while Iran-backed factions are protecting his and facilitate his work because he has very strong ties with Lebanese Hezbollah leaders in Syria.

 

On September 9, reliable sources informed the Syrian Observatory that the purchasing of real estate throughout cities and towns of eastern Ghouta by individuals from Deir Ezzor province working for Iranian-backed militias in Syria has escalated alarmingly. According to SOHR sources, individuals working for a man called Aby Yaser al-Bakari from al-Bakara tribe in Deir Ezzor have purchased nearly 500 apartments and shops in Ain Tarma city in the past few months. It is worth noting that most of these units belonged to Syrian people living abroad, and they were sold through representative authorized by the real owners in eastern Ghouta.

 

According to local sources in eastern Ghouta, brokers from eastern Ghouta have been recruited by a group affiliated to the Iranian-backed local militia of “Liwaa al-Abbas”, while Aby Yaser al-Bakari is a prominent trader in this group. Al-Bakari had purchased lots of real estate in Deir Ezzor at orders by Liwaa al-Abbas’s leader Adnan al-Abbas. Now the Iranian-backed group and brokers it recruited have been prevalent in all cities and towns of eastern Ghouta with a task to find every apartment or shop offered for sale. Moreover, the group has stopped dealing with real estate offices because of the high fees. It is worth noting that the purchasing of civilians’ properties escalated recently in the areas of Saqba, Jesrayn, Kafr Batna, al-Mulayha, Zubaydin, Beit Sawa and Hamouriyyah.

 

 

Exploitation of fuel crisis in Lebanon

 

Iranian-backed militias have taken advantage of the transportation of Iranian fuel by the Lebanese Hezbollah through Syria to Lebanon due to the fuel crisis in Lebanon, as nine trucks of a batch of oil trucks carrying fuel, which arrived from Iraq to Syria on September 5, headed to al-Mayadeen city, under Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas militiamen’s protection, where the trucks were unloaded their cargo in large tanks. It is worth noting that these tanks had been established by ISIS when it was controlling the region nearby al-Shibli monuments in al-Mayadeen desert, before Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas militia maintained them. This development coincided with the lack of fuel in areas under the control of the Syrian regime and its allies in Deir Ezzor after the suspension of smuggling fuel from SDF-held areas on the opposite bank of Euphrates river.

 

On September 20, SOHR sources in west Euphrates region, the “Iranian colony in Syria”, reported the arrival of a new batch of fuel from Iraq, as three oil trucks, two were carrying gasoline and one carrying petrol, arrived at positions of Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas militia. It is worth noting that the trucks, which entered Syria via unofficial crossings used by the Iranian-backed militias on the Syria-Iraq border, were escorted by four four-wheel drive vehicles (4×4) guarding the batch. This cargo was unloaded in large underground tanks in al-Shibli archaeological site in al-Mayadeen desert in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

 

 

In west Euphrates region, however, the command of Iranian-backed militias in al-Tammu neighbourhood in al-Mayadeen city forced the regime’s military police to evacuate their posts and checkpoints in al-Jaradiq area in al-Mayadeen city centre in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor on September 10. According to SOHR sources, the Iranians expelled the military police from their posts for supporting the National Defence Forces (NDF) during a disagreement against members of an Iranian-backed militia.

 

On September 25, militias affiliated to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps transported Iranian-made “Volcano H2” missiles from their weapons warehouse near al-Shibli archaeological site in al-Mayadeen desert in eastern Deir Ezzor to areas and positions of Iranian-backed militias in Ma’adan area in the eastern countryside of al-Raqqah.

 

It is worth noting that the missiles were transported in trucks under heavy guard. However, it is not known if the transport of these missiles to al-Raqqah was a part of preparations by IRGC-backed militias to attack International Coalition bases in eastern Euphrates or for other reasons.

 

 

Ongoing airstrikes

 

As airstrikes on by Israeli fighter jets and unidentified drones, believed to be American, continued in September 2021, SOHR documented four attacks which left many casualties. Further details of the airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias’ positions in Syria in September could be summarised as follows:

 

  • September 3: Israeli fighter jets struck military positions containing centres used by Iranian-backed militias for developing weapons in the scientific research centres in Barzeh and Jamraya in Rif Dimashq, but no casualties were reported. Meanwhile, ambulances were seen rushing to the targeted sites which were cordoned off.

 

  • September 14: An unidentified drone, believed to be American, attacked three trucks of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (IPMF) in al-Bokamal countryside, destroying the three trucks, killing three IPMF members and injuring others.

 

  • September 27: Unidentified drones attacked positions in al-Mazare’ area, which accommodates the largest gathering of Iranian-backed militias in west Euphrates region, nearby al-Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor countryside. The attack destroyed Iranian-made surface-to-surface missiles launchpads that had been established by the Iranian-backed militias in the region. Also, the attack and rocket shrapnel wounded at least 12 pro-Iran non-Syrian militiamen, and they were taken to al-Shefaa hospital which is affiliated to these militias in al-Mayadeen city. Meanwhile, the targeted site was cordoned off and the Iranian-backed militias were seen on high alert.

 

  • September 30: Observatory activists reported hearing several explosions in Deir Ezzor countryside, near the Syria-Iraq, caused by an attack by unidentified drone on positions of the Iranian-backed militias in the region. According to SOHR sources, the drone was seen flying in the region in the evening and targeted positions in al-Katef area near al-Bokamal city with two missiles at lease. Meanwhile, the Iranian-backed militiamen attempted to shot down the drone with heavy machineguns.

 

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