Iran has sent a new group of mercenaries to the city of Aleppo to support the regime forces against Syrian opposition groups in their fight to liberate the northern city, according to informed sources.
The sources confirmed to Zaman al-Wasl that around 400 mercenaries, most of them Iraqi nationals, arrived at the Al-Mulhib barracks during the past few days. The source added that the Shiite mercenaries, aged between 15 and 18-years-old, joined the largely Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade militia.
The Siryan al-Jadid neighborhood witnessed clashes between local mercenaries of the pro-regime National Defense Forces and the Fatemiyoun foreign militia only two days after the newcomers’ arrival to the barracks.
According to local sources, the clashes resulted in most of the NDF forces being relocated to the fighting fronts in order to avoid further strife. Regime forces took control of the Al-Ashrafieh and Beni Zaid neighborhoods as well as the area of Al-Liramon close to the highly strategic Castello Road over the past three months.
According to a local resident who spoke to NDF fighters at a checkpoint, the regime’s commanders fear speaking to the Iranian militias and usually meet their demands without objection. They also expressed their discontent about the higher wages paid to non-Syrian mercenaries, who receive $500 month compared to 30,000 Syrian pounds ($140).
The NDF forces also complained that regime forces and local mercenaries are at the front lines during battles to break into rebel-controlled areas while the Iranian militia fortifies itself at the rear lines of the battle, commanding the fighting, and preventing personnel from withdrawing.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.