A well informed source has revealed some 5,000 Shiite commanders and fighters with around 35 militia groups were recently transported to Syria from Iraq.
Among the most prominent of the groups are the Badr Corps, the al-Mahdi Army, Cliques of the Rightful and Iraqi Hezbollah.
The source said the groups departed Iraq from the Erbil, Sulaimaniyah, Baghdad, Basra, and Najaf airports and arrived at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, after the delivery of $30,000 thousand dollars from the office of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for expenses in Lebanon and Syria.
The militias were transported under the supervision of al-Maliki’s adviser Izet al-Shanbader, who has the Lebanese nationality, is a parliamentary member of Maliki’s Al-Dawa Islamic party, as well as one of Shiite Ayatollah Sistani’s representatives.
The source said that the fighters will be transported secretly by tourist transportation companies as security cover for Hezbollah, to the party’s headquarters in Lebanon, before passing in to Syria through the Jdeideh – al-Maznaa crossing.
There, they will be received Samir Jumaa, the delegate from the office of Major General Mohamad Nassif, who is the security assistant of the Syrian Vice President and the “godfather” of the Syrian-Iraqi and the Syrian-Iranian relationships. He was also Iraqi ambassador to Damascus.
The source said that when the groups reach Jdeideh crossing, they will be moved to small accommodation close to the Saiyda Zeinab shrine in the Damascus countryside, close to the Palestine camp in Dwar al-Hujaira. The source added they are being supplied with a military uniforms, ID’s with the Syrian Popular Committees, bullet-proof vests, weapons of different sizes as well as wireless connection devices, all to suggest they belong to the Abo al-Fadel Abbas brigade to protect the shrine of Saida Zeinab and delude people that they are Syrians, with a mission to protecting the shrine only, and not to fight the rebels.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer