Amid Russia’s efforts to curb Iranian presence in Syria | IRGC-backed militias see graduation of new batch of local recruits in Al-Mayadeen
SOHR warns against ongoing Iranian expansion in Syria
Reliable SOHR sources in Al-Mayadeen city, the capital of Iranian forces and their proxy militias in west Euphrates region, have reported that militias backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps announced the graduation of a new batch of local recruits, after undergoing a military course in Al-Mazari’ area in Al-Mayadeen desert in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.
According to SOHR sources, the latest batch comprised 75 local militiamen who were taken to Ain Ali shrine in order to get blessing of water there, like the Iranian-backed militias did with the earlier batches.
It is worth noting that a group of the recently-graduated local militiamen had been moved to regime-controlled areas and accepted the latest reconciliation deals which the regime security services announced about.
This coincides with reports of Russia’s efforts to curb the Iranian presence in Syria. However, SOHR confirms that the Iranian expansion continues throughout the areas where Iranian forces and their proxy militiamen are deployed in regime-controlled areas.
On January 19, SOHR sources reported that Iranian-backed militias continued strengthening their presence in areas near and on the Syria-Lebanon border in Rif Dimashq, disregarding Syria’s laws which ban selling or purchasing any land plots in border areas. With the Lebanese Hezbollah being the de facto ruler of this area, the purchasing of plots of land along the border strip was on progress.
According to SOHR sources, the Iranian-backed militias purchased over 565 plots of land in Al-Zabadani region and its surroundings and at least 670 plots in Al-Tufayl border area since early 2021, turning the region into an “independent” village headed by a Syrian man known by his initials as H. D. who is close to the Lebanese Hezbollah commanders.
On the other hand, these militias continued taking over luxury apartments and villas in Bludan area and other nearby areas, bringing the number of villas and apartments these militiamen inhabited in to more than 515. These practices took place with full support of the Lebanese Hezbollah which facilitated such operations, despite the large media coverage for that issue, especially by the Syrian Observatory.
We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), renew our appeal to the international community, United Nations and UN Security Council to intensify their efforts to force Iranian forces and their proxy militias out of Syria and bring all criminals, perpetrators of violations and all those who aided and abetted the killing and displacement of Syrian people to justice.