Iranian IRGC proxy in Syria arrest members leaving over unpaid salary

According to local media, a militia connected with the Iranian IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) detained men in the eastern Syrian province of Deir az-Zour who deserted due to payment delays.

Amjad al-Sari, a member of the local news network Eye of Euphrates, informed The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the arrests were made by the Iranian IRGC-linked 47th Regiment in the town of Abu Kamal near the Syria-Iraq border in recent days.

They were detained “after they left the military owing to salary delays,” according to al-Sari.

Other local media outlets have also reported recent arrests of former members by the 47th regiment.

The province of Deir az-Zour is home to a variety of armed factions, including the Syrian regime and ally troops, notably Iranian IRGC backed militias.

The Islamic State organisation remains in the area, slaughtering militants from various factions, including militias supported by Tehran.

According to al-Sari, the majority of the 47th regiment’s personnel are Syrians.

With little work options, young men in Deir az-Zour have little choice except to depart the area or join armed organisations for pitiful pay, he noted.

Long before a conflict that has killed over 500,000 people and displaced millions more broke out in 2011, Iran was a crucial backer of the Syrian regime.

It has sent thousands of foreign militia members to assist the Assad administration.

Other Iranian IRGC forces, like the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, are also said to be active in the area.

Since 2021, Iran-backed militia groups have seized more than 1,900 plots of land in parts of Syria near the Lebanese border, where Hezbollah strike forces are stationed, a new report says.

In a July 11 report, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said non-Syrian Iran-backed militia groups have purchased more than 640 plots of land in and around Zabadani in rural Damascus, adjacent to the Lebanese border.

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