Iranian and Iranian-backed militias have raised many questions about their movements and continuous redeployment in Syria. This speculation has grown especially since the movement witnessed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard militia from its areas of control in southern and northern Syria towards the east of the country over more than a year. These movements contrast with the other foreign powers that have relatively maintained their usual areas of deployment and concentration in Syria.
Russian forces have maintained their position in naval and air bases, mainly in the countryside of Tartous and Lattakia in western Syria on the shores of the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, U.S. forces and the international coalition are content to position themselves in northeastern Syria near oil wells.
The Independent, a British newspaper, referred to a report that the Israeli air strikes on Iranian sites scattered in the south of the country are one of the most important reasons for that move, according to “observers.”
Iranian experts and personnel arrive in Deir-ez-Zor
According to information, the arrival of Iranian-backed military experts to the Deir-ez-Zor area is constantly increasing. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the arrival of dozens of Lebanese Hezbollah members and Iranian militias from Damascus to northeastern Syria via a Russian cargo plane. This occurred in conjunction with the arrival of a group of Iranian militia members to the city of Albu Kamal in the eastern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor. The group came from the countryside of Aleppo and Homs and numbered an estimated 70 members.
All these developments come in light of the U.S. Air Force and the “international coalition” forces continuing to comb the areas separating the influence of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the Iranian militias in the northeast. According to information available to The Independent, the U.S. runs continuous flights to monitor any Iranian movement in the region that threatens the positions of US forces, especially the bases of the Conoco gas wells in eastern Syria.
Tension between Iran and the Syrian regime
In addition to the above, relations between the Syrian regime and Iran have recently been tense against the backdrop of Tehran’s delay in sending “credit line” supplies of oil products. The delay has led to a stifling energy crisis that hit hard for Syrians residing in regime-controlled areas during November and December. The Iranian government had requested incentives such as giving rights to Iranians in Syria similar to the rights of the Syrian citizen, in addition to a set of drafts of draft agreements. These demands prompted the Syrian regime to wait and postpone the visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in parallel with doubled prices of oil exported to the regime.
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.