The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Iran’s agenda | Iranian-backed militias ask for the help of tribes’ elders and dignitaries to recruit more people in Deir Ezzor countryside

SOHR sources have reported that Iranian-backed militias have made use of tribes’ elders and dignitaries in Deir Ezzor to persuade more people join the ranks of these militias. These elders and tribes included the head of Al-Bakara tribe in Deir Ezzor “Nawwaf Ragheb Al-Bashir”, the head of Al-Bosaraya tribe in western Deir Ezzor “Mehanna Faysal”, the head of Al-Jaghayfah tribe in Al-Hirri village “Faysal Al-Kassar” and one of the dignitaries of Al-Hassoun tribe in Al-Suway’a village in Deir Ezzor countryside called “Jamal Al-Hardan”.


Iran forces and their proxy militias in Deir Ezzor rely on these figures to achieve their objectives at all levels, including the military, religious, cultural and social situations.


It is worth noting that Iranian-backed militias have promoted curriculums instilling Shiite culture into the segments of Syrian society, such as the art of “Al-Latmiyyat Al-Shi’yah” (self flagellation: a religious ritual practiced by Shiite community).


Moreover, these militias are working on wooing and impressing the region’s residents by providing food baskets to the families which have converted to Shiite, as many people have turned to Shiite and joined the ranks of Iranian-backed militias, seeking for protection from the repression of the regime’s security services and looking forward to improve their living conditions in light of the current economic hardship.


These tribes’ elders and dignitaries facilitate the recruitment of civilians to the ranks of the Iranian-backed militias which offer monthly salaries reach 300,000 SYL and provide bread, food baskets and fuel from regime petrol stations to their recruits.


In the past few years, Iranian-backed militias managed to recruit a large number of security suspects and ex-fighters and granted “impunity” to them.


Iranian-backed militias have also established several camps in Deir Ezzor, accommodating local militias, most of their members served previously in opposition factions, in order to strengthen their presence even more in the province and protect the mosques they took over and turned them into “hosayniyas” (a “hosayniya” is a congregation hall for Twelver Shia Muslim commemoration ceremonies, for their proxy militiamen, where the Shiite Azan was used and Shiite ritual was practiced). The Iranians also seek for protecting Ain Ali Shrine in Al-Mayadeen and the oil wells in the south-east desert of Deir Ezzor.


On the other hand, secret meetings are held between the Iranian-backed militias and these dignitaries in the security zone in Al-Bokamal city, where they discuss the mechanism to form more military formations, purchase more real estate units and seize properties of regime oppositionists.