Tension increases between Iran and Russia and agreement between the latter and Turkey to end the Iranian presence in the Syrian north, Hezbollah continues to refuse to withdraw from the west of Homs
With the expansion of Russian ambitions and the Iranian search for gains and benefits, the gap between both parties is widening on the Syrian territory, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights received information from several reliable sources, who confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the Russian – Iranian dispute in Syria is on the rise with the increased Iranian intransigence towards carrying out Russia’s dictated proposals in Syria in order to increase the size of what it can gain of the Syrian area, where the Observatory received information reported that the command of the Russian Forces asked the Lebanese Hezbollah to withdraw its members and forces from al-Dabaa airbase and the bases located in the western and southwestern countryside of Homs, but Hezbollah has not yet withdrawn from the area, and the information about the withdrawals were only media withdrawals, where Hezbollah is still present in positions in the western and southwestern countryside of Homs city, also other reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that positions of Hezbollah are witnessing every now and then the process of replacing forces in the area with new units.
This matter has created tension between the Russian Forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah, in conjunction with the increased tension that is taking place between Hezbollah and the Iranian Forces; and between the Russians, about the situation in the Syrian south, where the Iranian Forces are still refusing the Russian proposal in withdrawing from Daraa and Quneitra provinces as well as the entire Syrian south towards other areas in central Syria, the sources told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the Iranian Forces imposed a condition in exchange for their withdrawal towards the desert and central Syria, which is the evacuation of al-Tanf base of the American and International Coalition Forces on the Syrian – Iraqi border, as a condition for them to leave the Syrian south, of which Russia is working with the regime to reach a solution about the area, through local discussions with the factions and regional with Syria’s neighboring countries.
At the same level, a third cause has been added to the escalation of tension between Russian and Iranian on the Syrian territory, which is what the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had obtained of information from reliable sources, who confirmed that an undeclared agreement took place between Russia and Turkey based on ending the Iranian presence in the Syrian north completely, where both Russia and Turkey seek through a common consensus to force the Iranian Forces to withdraw, and they push them to do so through pressure from a regional country to escalate against them in the north and west of Aleppo city during the last week.
This Russian – Iranian tension has created a crack in the ranks of regime forces’ leadership and officers, splitting them between pro-Russian and others pro-Iran, which is present with its forces of the Revolutionary Guards, the Lebanese Hezbollah Forces, and pro-militia of Syrian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Afghani, and Asian nationalities, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 23rd of May 2018 that In conjunction with local, regional and international talk about the stay or withdrawal of Iranian Forces and their loyal and affiliated armed militias, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights -so far- has not monitored any withdrawals by the Iranian military forces, the Iraqi, Afghan and Asian militias, and, the Lebanese Hezbollah from their military positions on the Syrian territory, where the above-mentioned forces remain in their military positions which are spread in most of the Syrian areas, and these sites are distributed between al-Kiswah area and the southwest of Rif Dimashq, the southern countryside of Aleppo, the surroundings the towns of Nubl and Zahra in the northern countryside of Aleppo, the eastern countryside of Idlib, the northern and southern countryside of Hama and Sahl al-Ghab in the northwestern countryside of Hama, al-Qalamoun, Zabadani plain, southwestern countryside of Homs, al-Bokamal, and the Deserts of Homs and Deir Ezzor.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained information from reliable sources about the numbers of Iranian Forces and their loyal militias of Lebanese, Iraqi, Afghan, Iranian and Asian nationalities, where the number is estimated to be more than 32000 non-Syrian fighters, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the killing of thousands of them, since the start of the Syrian revolution in March 2011 until the 23rd of May 2018, where at least 7806 members of the non-Syrians mostly from the Shia sect who fight under the banner of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their militias of Afghans, Iraqis and Asians, in addition to 1649 at least members of the Lebanese Hezbollah.