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Syria Today – Car Bombing Kills Pro-Iran Fighters; Why Are Syrians Sent to Africa?

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – Car Bombing Kills Pro-Iran Fighters; Why Are Syrians Sent to Africa?

A car bombing struck the eastern Syrian city of Deir-ez-Zor on Saturday, resulting in the deaths of two fighters aligned with Iran, according to Iran International.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the attack occurred near an Iranian cultural center when an explosive device detonated inside an SUV, potentially intensifying the ongoing conflict within the region.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based watchdog with extensive networks inside Syria, confirmed that the vehicle, packed with explosives, was identified as belonging to militias supported by Iran, and the blast not only killed two individuals but also injured several others.

Following the explosion, Syrian government forces and Iran-backed groups quickly established a security cordon around the impacted site, signalling the importance of the area and Iran’s deep-rooted presence there.

Deir-ez-Zor, recognized as a stronghold for Tehran, hosts numerous Iranian, as well as proxy forces and institutions.

The responsibility for the bombing remains unclaimed, and it adds to the ongoing turmoil in a region marred by frequent attacks.

Syrian rebels sent to Africa to guard mines and businesses

Syrian rebels have been hired to fight and provide security at gold mines and factories in African countries, several rebel sources told Middle East Eye this week.

Syrian fighters, who are mostly affiliated with the Syrian National Army (SNA), a coalition of armed opposition groups that works closely with Turkey in northern Syria, told MEE that hundreds of fighters were deployed in Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria.

There they guard Turkish-operated businesses, factories and mines, or provide protection services in countries where the Islamic State group poses a danger to local security.

An SNA fighter using the pseudonym Deyri, who was recruited for a mission in Africa, told MEE that the recruits weren’t operating alone but in groups.

“The command is not in Syrian hands. Sometimes we sign up for the protection of Turkish businesses, sometimes for fighting the Islamic State, and sometimes for guarding mines or factories,” he said.

Reports of Syrian rebels being sent to Africa first surfaced in the Western media, which said they had been given short-term combat training before deployment. MEE could not identify which organization trained the recruits.

SNA members told the media that they were recruited through the Sultan Murad Brigade faction, and signed contracts ranging from six months to a year for a monthly salary of $1,500.

Turkish Sources: US Planning on Forming ‘Terrorist State’ in Northern Syria

Turkish military and diplomatic sources warned on Saturday that the United States will not abandon its plan to form a Kurdish state in areas controlled by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern and northeastern Syria, Asharq al-Awsat reported.

They added that the local elections, planned by the Kurdish authorities in those regions, are only a precursor to greater steps to come. The polls are set for August.

The sources said the US wants to establish a Kurdish state in northern Syria and is providing all forms of training related to the establishment of a state and its functioning. It noted that it did the same for Kurdish regions in northern Iraq whereby it trained senior officials on state building in the US.

Türkiye’s Sözcü newspaper quoted the sources as saying that Washington boasts around 70,000 mercenaries from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its arm in Syria, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), and that it will use them, sooner or later, to form a “terrorist state” on the frontlines along Türkiye’s southern border.

The real danger against Türkiye lies in northern Syria, not Iraq, they added.

The US is training and arming the SDF and it pays the wages of its soldiers, continued the sources, describing them as an “American military” in the region pursuing the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in Syria that is loyal to Washington.

Moreover, they warned that the August elections would undermine Syria’s unity and Türkiye’s security.

They noted, however, that the US does not want to harm its alliance with Türkiye, but it will also not abandon its plan to form a Kurdish state in Syria.

Syria Denounces Israeli Massacre in Gaza, Demands International Action

The Syrian government has condemned a devastating Israeli attack on the Nuseirat camp in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the deaths of 274 Palestinians and injured 698 others.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry denounced the “heinous massacre” and accused the “racist Zionist entity” of perpetrating “blind attacks” against the Palestinian people. The ministry also alleged that the United States is complicit in the massacre and other war crimes committed in Gaza.

The statement emphasized that the international community and the United Nations must take decisive action to stop these atrocities. Syria, a long-standing supporter of the Palestinian cause, reiterated the need for Israel and its government to be held accountable for their crimes before international courts.

The ministry’s statement emphasized that the Zionist crimes are rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court (ICC), and that no words can describe the severity of these crimes.

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