Throughout the Syria war, Iran has played a central role in establishing the Syrian militias operating alongside the Syrian regime’s regular army and army reserves. These militias are modeled after the Iranian Basij. Recently, a memo was circulated on Facebook ostensibly proving that the Syrian regime is transferring command and financial responsibility for some of these militias to Iran – reflecting the extent of Iran’s control in Syria.
The memo, which is dated April 11, 2017 and bears the signature of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in his capacity as commander in-chief of the Syrian armed forces, approves the recommendations of a committee responsible for regulating the activity of the armed Syrian forces operating in conjunction with Iran on Syrian territory.
The committee’s recommendations included a call for organizing the nearly 90,000-man-strong armed Syrian forces working in conjunction with Iran under an umbrella framework called the Local Defense Brigades, to operate across Syria under Iranian command and financial responsibility, “until the end of the crisis in Syria or until further notice.” Continue reading