How Iran Took Advantage of Earthquake to Recruit Aleppo’s Youth Into Its Militias

Iran offered $100 to each fighter who joined the ranks of its militias, according to Orient Net.

The Syrian regime continues to exploit the tragedy caused by the earthquake that struck northern Syria last February. Confidential sources revealed that Iran recently launched a new recruitment campaign with the aim of mourning more Aleppo residents and joining the ranks of its militias by offering a series of temptations. They are taking advantage of the misery they live in– which was increased by the earthquake. 

They took advantage of the suffering 

Fatima Manghani, who arrived a short time ago in northern Syria from areas controlled by Assad’s militias during the earthquake, told Orient Net: “They dragged our young people to volunteer in their ranks and their funerals, they took advantage of their tragedy and their loss of the most basic necessities of life, and they offered temptations.”   

Italian Rapprochement with Assad: Supported by Right, Constrained by West

She added: “Before we left and with the start of the announcement of aid in Aleppo, where the Assad media was abuzz with it, there were campaigns similar to (missionary campaigns) for Shiism and joining them. They made many temptations, the most important of which was finding a house that sheltered every family instead of their demolished home, which attracted many after they were out in the open after the regime expelled them from mosques and schools. She noted that the militias deliberately demolished buildings, even undamaged, under the pretext that they were falling. 

Iran offered $100 to each fighter who joined the ranks of its militias and promised of food and medical aid, giving them preference in all fields and granting them authoritative powers at checkpoints and others.   

“Many started attending Shiite religious classes in some Iran-affiliated mosques in Aleppo, most notably the Nuqta mosque in the radio district, and this was a condition for joining,” she said. She noted that generals and Shiite clerics took on the task of convincing young men to volunteer in the ranks of what they called “the sacred duty.” 

Religious circles glorify the mullahs’ Shiites

Mustafa L., one of those who attended one of the funeral sessions in Aleppo, told Orient Net: “The lessons started a week after the earthquake. We used to attend religious seminars about Shiites’ role in building the so-called (Islamic State). He attended only two seminars in the Nuqta mosque and then left for Damascus, where his relatives live. 

“The episodes were supervised by a Shiite generalist named Kaabi, an Iraqi Shiite from Najaf, who tried every time to instill in our heads the idea of ‘the damage inflicted by the Rightly-Guided Caliphs (with the exception of Ali) and their Umayyad successors” to the Islamic State,” he said. 

According to Mustafa, the militias he was promoted to join are the militias of al-Nujaba and Fatemiyoun, and Kaabi described their mercenaries as “protectors of the land and Sharia.” These militias have also begun to promote themselves through clerics affiliated with them. They distribute aid to homeless people in schools and mosques.   

This approach complements a plan by the Popular Mobilization Militia during the earthquake, where the militia, which was portrayed as “one of the rescuers and providers of aid,” deliberately deprived Sunni Arabs in Aleppo of aid and provided it only to Shiites and Alawites in the coast and some relatives of Assad militia leaders. 


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.


Recommend article

Sender's Name:
Sender's Email:
Receiver's Name:
Receiver's Email: