In an effort to strengthen its presence in eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor province and improve its standing among the local community, the terrorist Iranian IRGC organization has been enticing women to join its affiliated militias.
The move comes at a time of heightened competition for influence and control in the eastern regions of Syria among the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Russians and the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Women in this part of Syria are desperate to earn money, as many have few options and their families are struggling with extreme poverty, the high price of basic commodities and lack of job opportunities.
They are a source of cheap labour for the IRGC and also help it make inroads into the local community and thereby gain some measure of acceptance among a community that widely rejects its destructive presence in Syria.
In addition to opening the door to women, the Iranian IRGC is continuing to recruit impoverished Syrian youth to boost the influence of its militias.
The Iranian militias are even attempting to draw children into their orbit, bringing them in as “cubs” of specific militias.
The children are taught to uphold and defend the doctrine of Wilayat al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist), which calls for allegiance to Iran’s supreme leader.
The IRGC commands at least 20 large militias in Deir Ezzor, variously comprised of Iraqi, Lebanese, Afghani, Pakistani and Syrian fighters.
They include the Fatemiyoun Division, Zainabiyoun Brigade, Harakat al-Abdal, Kataib Hizbullah, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Kataib Sayed al-Shuhada and Harakat al-Nujaba.
Syrian Tribal Council Spokesman Sheikh Mudar al-Asad said Elements of the Iranian militias are imposing an economic siege on Deir Ezzor residents and tightening the screws on them to force the youth, children and most recently, women, to join their ranks in exchange for money.
He said the Iranians and their proxies continue to deprive residents of their most basic rights, seize their property, and promote their own interests and ideology, which is propagated via newly constructed “religious centres”.