Iran Uses Clans in Face of Russian-Backed Syrian Parties

Iran and Russia are trying to gain the loyalty of tribes and parties in Syria, in order to exert a larger influence, according to Nedaa Post.
Iran Uses Clans in Face of Russian-Backed Syrian Parties

Anonymous sources in Damascus confirmed to the Nedaa Post website that the office of the Supreme Leader’s representative in Damascus is following efforts to win the loyalty of Arab clans “with great interest.” These efforts are taken place especially in parts of eastern and northeastern Syria.

Nedaa Post verified information from the meeting held by officials from the office of the Supreme Leader’s representative in Damascus and representatives and sheikhs of clans loyal to the “resistance” project, as described by the Supreme Leader’s representative in Damascus. According to Nedaa Post’s source, the meeting took place on August 8th in Damascus. The meeting was led by Sheikh Nawaf Trad al-Mulhim, one of the al-Hasana clan sheikhs of the Anazzah tribe and participant delegates from tribes.

Mulhim heads the People’s Party, a political party supported by Iran, and receives direct funding from the Office of the Supreme Leader’s representative.

Iranian and Russian parties

To this end, Iran coordinates the full support of the provincial branches of the Baath Party, which is facing interference and pressure from Russia to limit its role in Syrian political life in favour of other independent parties, which are affiliated with the Russian Embassy in Damascus. Iran considers that the People’s Party, and other parties funded by the centers, can lure political cadres and youth who will leave the Baath Party, especially in the eastern provinces of Syria. If successful, this ploy would ensure Iran’s role in the Syrian political scene during the coming phase, when Iran expects greater Russian pressure on the Baath Party’s prominence.

Read Also: Daraa Reveals Rift Between Iran and Russia: Syrian Politicians

Nedaa Post’s sources confirmed that the meeting in Damascus had covered the major divisions witnessed by the Baath Party, especially in governorates outside the regime’s control.

The meeting also discussed the role of independent parties formed by pro-Iranian clans in containing the Ba’ath Party’s anticipated withdrawal, as well as those parties’ role in confronting independent parties receiving Russian support and guidance. The meeting also further discussed Tehran’s full support for the tribal presence in political and community life in Syria — which should be both tangible and political — as well as the discharge of party cadres and youth in these parties from any involvement in the regime’s forces, so that they qualify politically and socially for important civilian roles.

Earlier, Nedaa Post’s special investigations department followed the meetings held between officials from the Iranian Embassy and the office of the Supreme Leader’s representative in Damascus. The meetings involved Nawaf al-Bashir, sheikh of the Baqara tribe and Zuhair Khamis, sheikh of the Damalkha clan. The meetings covered Iran’s financial support for those leaders to spread Shi’ism in the tribes of eastern Aleppo, Raqqa, and Deir-ez-Zor.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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