Iranian-backed sectarian militias have taken control of large parts of eastern Deir Ezzor province since October 2017 following ISIS (Daesh) defeat and the collapse of the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate.

The militias are comprised ofJerusalem Corp, the 313 Battalion, Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas brigade, the Afghani Fatimiyoun, the Pakistani Zainebiyoun, the Zayn al-Abidin, the Iraqi Haydariyoun, Liwa al-Baqir, both Syrian and Lebanese Hezbollah, and Iraqi Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba.

All of them are working under Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRG) led by Suleiman Rezaei, nicknamed the Iranian, who receives orders directly from Qasem Soleimani, responsible of all foreign sectarian militias supporting the regime.

The Iranian regime spends an average of $10-12 billion in Syria annually, while the annual support afforded by the government to Iranian citizens is approximately $8 billion, reports say.

According to our sources, their combined strength does not exceed 15,000 fighters, with evident discrimination between the foreign and local forces, for while the former gets $400 per month, and the latter gets $150 at best.

Iran has assembled these militias and others into sectarian ideological cantons that are hostile to the majority of the Syrian society. It uses them as a meeting point and a strategic extension in Iraq. It controls Al-Mayadeen, Al-Qurya, Al-Ashara and Ain Ali, with its headquarters in the city of Albukamal as well as Deir Ezzor military airport.

Iran has provided substantial financial funding to construct a land crossing between Syria and Iraq east of Deir Ezzor, but the Iraqi government has so far refused to open it. It also maintains large areas of eastern Syria to link areas of western Iraq controlled by the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, crossing the Syrian desert to Damascus and then to Beirut. This is an old dream of reaching the Mediterranean renewed, dating back to the 1980s.

Since the declaration of control, these militias have not been stationed in specific locations, having to move from time to time due to fears of direct strikes from the Israeli air force. Its major positions, before the recent repositioning in July of this year due to press leaks, are:

Three sites in Al-Mayadeen, used by Fatimiyoun Brigade, Harakat Al-Nujaba and Al-Baqir Brigade. Three in the center of Deir Ezzor in Dahiyat al-Assad for the IRG and Lebanese Hezbollah. Two in Makhan, one in Ashara, and another in Almohsen, in addition to Deir Ezzor military airport and the oil station.

Last Tuesday, the Revolutionary Guards’ militia in Albukamal lost more than 40 people, killed and wounded, and ammunition and missile depots that were most likely targeted by Saudi drones in response to Iran’s recent attack on two Aramco plants.

The United States officially listed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization at the beginning of 2019, an organization that was established in 1979 to protect Tehran’s ruling religious establishment. However, later it became a transcontinental militia based in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, using them as a platform for expanding the perimeter of its influence and a theater for its security and military operations.

Israel launched wild-scale airstrikes in 2018 and 2019, targeting over 70 Iranian targets in the war-torn country.

Israel wants to prevent by all means the existence of a “Shiite corridor” linking “Tehran to Damascus,” top Israeli officials say.

The eight-year-old war has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and forced 13 million people from their homes, half of whom have left their shattered homeland.

Source » zamanalwsl