Are Iranian-organised militia capable defending against ISIS? Syrian Army shows little faith

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December 17, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos

DAMASCUS, Syria – A damning account by a Syrian soldier has emerged that criticizes the Iranian-organized militia in Syria in not being capable of defending against ISIS.

A soldier has recounted how areas liberated in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor that were recently liberated by the Syrian Army and its allies from ISIS would then hand over a captured settlement to be defended by the Iranian organized militias of Liwa al-Fetimiyoun and Liwa al-Quds, but how ISIS would launch a counterattack and the towns were immediately lost again.

This occurred on three different occasions last week alone, with the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces being called in again to liberate the settlements, at the high price of more martyred soldiers. The soldier then criticized the militias lack of training and efficiency.

This has come at a hindrance to operations in Hama and Idlib countryside where the Syrian Army are currently trying to defeat Al-Qaeda affiliated groups. This has meant that the Tiger Forces have officially been relocated to this front in western Syria while the 17th Armored Division, the Republican Guards and the Al-Ridha have been tasked to defend newly liberated towns from ISIS.

The soldier revealed that militia fighters get paid anywhere between $1000 and $1500 per month. Syrian Army soldiers in comparison only get paid around $200 a month. In addition, the militia fighters get warm meals, cans of food, and luxuries like nuts, while also having modern cars and technical vehicles.

These Iranian-organised militias are usually Shi’ites from Afghanistan and Pakistan, including illegal refugees in Iran or convicted criminals who are given a choice of a lengthy prison sentence or to fight in Syria. On their return from the battlefield they are often granted citizenship to Iran or their family’s receive a house as compensation in case the fighter dies.

Despite these motivational factors and better pay to Syrian Army soldiers, Syrian government forces remain the most elite fighters in Syria alongside Hezbollah.

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