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Where Is Assad Getting His Fighters From? (It's Not Just Lebanon and Iraq)
National Interest ^ | January 2, 2018 | Colin P. ClarkePhillip Smyth

Posted on 01/23/2018 7:12:16 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster

Where Is Assad Getting His Fighters From? (It's Not Just Lebanon and Iraq)

Colin P. ClarkePhillip Smyth

January 2, 2018

In early December, senior Trump administration officials suggested that approximately 80 percent of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s defense against insurgents in the country’s ongoing civil war is being provided by forces imported from outside of the country. The lion’s share of these fighters is being trained and equipped by Iran, the Assad regime’s most ardent supporter.

Interestingly, however, these foreign fighters, almost of all which are Shia Muslims, are not merely comprised of Lebanese and Iraqis, but include significant numbers of militants from South Asia—mainly Afghanistan and Pakistan—which adds an entirely new dimension to Syria’s ongoing civil war, now entering its seventh year.

As the civil war in Syria drags on, the Assad regime has been plagued by casualties and desertions. Many of its fighters have been killed or injured on the battlefield and to make up for these manpower shortages, the regime has looked to Iran to help recruit new fighters. Iran has been able to leverage the sectarian nature of the conflict in Syria to help rally Afghans living in Iran as refugees, of which there are approximately three million.

The Afghan fighters belong to a division known as Liwa Fatemiyoun, which is under the command and control of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and according to official Iranian sources, numbers between 10,000 to 12,000 fighters. Many of these militants have experienced major combat action in Syria in Aleppo, Deraa, Damascus, Latakia and the Qalamoun region. Some reports indicate that hundreds have already died fighting in Syria.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalinterest.org ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events; Russia; Syria; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; erdogan; hassannasrallah; hazara; hezbollah; iran; iraq; israel; jerusalem; kurdistan; lebanon; letshavejerusalem; liwafatemiyoun; pakistan; paleolibs; receptayyiperdogan; russia; syria; turkey; waronterror
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1 posted on 01/23/2018 7:12:16 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Or the deep state is making crap up, just as they have been repeatedly caught doing ... and Assad’s fighters are mostly Syrians and the insurgents are mostly foreigners.

Maybe John McBraincancer went over and armed a bunch of Jihadis to try to overthrow the Syrian government at the behest of the New World Order.

There is always an alternate possibility.


2 posted on 01/23/2018 7:19:21 AM PST by MrEdd (Caveat Emptor)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

More than a billion Muslims. Willing to become a violent jihadi is as common in Islam as becoming born again in Christianity. Are there are just as many sects.


3 posted on 01/23/2018 7:25:11 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Afghani refugees from Iran fighting for the Syrian army against ISIS. What could go wrong?


4 posted on 01/23/2018 7:25:20 AM PST by Rennes Templar (Morning in America Again, again.)
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To: MrEdd
I don't know about the claim about 80%. But Iran brought in thousands of Hazara’s from their refugee camps near Afghanistan. Of course, this all started with murderous IS Jihadi’s bankrolled by the likes of Saudi princes many of whom are now languishing at Saudi’s super-max prison. The biggest one was a good friend of Bush and Hildebeast.
5 posted on 01/23/2018 7:29:36 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster (dead parakeet + lost fishing gear = freep all day)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

There are many Uigurs in Syria - so many that China sent some elite troops to get rid of them before they return.


6 posted on 01/23/2018 7:34:53 AM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

The Middle East is in the beginning stages of a Sunni-Shai World War.

Nearly every conflict there can be explained by the above statement.


7 posted on 01/23/2018 7:40:24 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: PIF
Their is another possibility: Uyghurs and Hazara’s may settle in Syria in large numbers. Along with their family. There was a report on isolated cases of Uyghurs settling in Syria, but in small numbers.
8 posted on 01/23/2018 7:40:46 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster (dead parakeet + lost fishing gear = freep all day)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Where Is Assad Getting His Fighters From?

Can’t someone just ask his buddy Senator John (songbird)McCain??


9 posted on 01/23/2018 7:45:41 AM PST by eyeamok (Tolerance: The virtue of having a belief in Nothing!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

China does not care where they settle - they are all dead.


10 posted on 01/23/2018 7:48:47 AM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

It was the anti-Assad forces that were recruiting foreign fighters.

In any case it made no sense to overthrow Assad, and then turn around and help Iran get a nuke. It makes some sense to remove Assad as part of an overall anti-Iran strategy but under Obama the whole thing was incoherent. And half a million Syrians have died for no particular reason.


11 posted on 01/23/2018 7:50:52 AM PST by marron
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To: MrEdd

Yup.

A couple months ago you would have been accused of being a Putin shill for posting that...


12 posted on 01/23/2018 7:56:01 AM PST by SecAmndmt (Arm yourselves!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
In general I'm unimpressed with the “think tanks”. Not saying it is an unwarranted enterprise, just saying too often those studying are not close enough to foreign reality to “get it”.

But, I see nothing in this article that I would question concerning the makeup of the Syrian Army. I think I read somewhere of some other elements than those mentioned. Afghans and Paks are certainly there. Iran and it's terrorist surrogates are certainly there in huge numbers. 80% is credible from what I have heard.

There is an issue as far as the Allawites are concerned. They were 10% of the population, the casualties among them have been large. They must be hurting on educated support elements. That is as important as the grunts. (cannon fodder doesn't win wars)

I read yesterday that Turkey had their panties tied up in knots over a path opening into Efrin from the South might be resupply and troop movement. Which they said they “could not allow”. smile.

Kurds lives are shaped by being mountain people. They are tough, resourceful, largely self sufficient, and cohesive. I admire how they stepped in and increased food production during the middle of the war allowing for refugees to be fed. It would have been a total humanitarian disaster if they had not. Efrin was one of the major production areas. So was Kobani.

If Assad is smart, he will allow Kurds to be pretty independent and leave them alone. So far I don't see that. If he does not, he will be hit again badly by Turks, that war is not over yet.

13 posted on 01/23/2018 8:11:29 AM PST by Texas Fossil ((Texas is not where you were born, but a Free State of Heart, Mind & Attitude!))
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To: TigerLikesRooster

“Uyghurs”

Yes, Erdogan is resettling them in pockets of Syria he has control of. Displacing Kurds to allow them to takeover.


14 posted on 01/23/2018 8:14:31 AM PST by Texas Fossil ((Texas is not where you were born, but a Free State of Heart, Mind & Attitude!))
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To: marron

Anti-Assad and Pro Assad were both importing foreign fighters. Most of them were Muslim.

Allawites are a very private group. Little is really know about what they are exactly. It is an odd paring with Iran. Both are considered Shia. I think there is a side of Allawite beliefs that must touch on Shia concepts. (I’m not well read on Muslim beliefs, and have no direct interest in that. But I suspect it is connected.)

Mattis has said he felt this is the most complex place in the world to try to fight a war. He is probably right.


15 posted on 01/23/2018 8:19:44 AM PST by Texas Fossil ((Texas is not where you were born, but a Free State of Heart, Mind & Attitude!))
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To: Texas Fossil
Not surprising. On the surface, we see several countries, but in reality there are a few dozen distinct and autonomous political groups. Shuffled around for centuries. A long history of alliance and betrayal among themselves. I don't claim to have first-hand knowledge but it is how things look to me.
16 posted on 01/23/2018 8:30:58 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster (dead parakeet + lost fishing gear = freep all day)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Oh, I totally agree.

The English Bureaucraps really screwed things up in the Middle East. How they handled the dissolving of the evil Ottoman empire is what created the divides within the Kurd people. They are so very different from 1 country to the next. I think it is because of where they were situated and that there are so many natural resources collected there. If you want to see why the English did what they did, follow the money (some of it oil money).

And never forget the effects of the Genocide in Turkey and the region. That drove dissimilar people into Northern Syria trying to survive. That is why they get along better in Northern Syria than in other places. They were forced to cooperate and get along to survive. That is a great cultural cement.


17 posted on 01/23/2018 8:41:11 AM PST by Texas Fossil ((Texas is not where you were born, but a Free State of Heart, Mind & Attitude!))
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Whatever works.

If we don’t like the people helping Assad, perhaps we shouldn’t have triggered a CIVIL WAR there.


18 posted on 01/23/2018 9:16:58 AM PST by BobL (I shop at Walmart...I just don't tell anyone)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...
Thanks TigerLikesRooster.

A few years ago the Iranian mullahcracy found itself in a quagmire -- their intervention in Syria was and remains unpopular in Iran, their Hizzies proxies had lost perhaps 50% of their terrorists, and Iran started press-ganging Afghans into service, giving them uniforms, arms, and some training, and dropping them off at the front.

Assad started the Syrian civil war, and it would be nice if he were dead by now, but the slaughter of the Hezbollah took time, so, that's part of the upside. ISIS was brought into Syria to obliterate the other local rebel groups, met the US-backed Kurds, and learned what an ass-kicking is. The Russians evac'd a large group of ISIS after they were cornered and faced annihilation, and as with the Chechens will use them where jihadists are needed and Russian policy dictates.

19 posted on 01/23/2018 9:40:31 AM PST by SunkenCiv (www.tapatalk.com/groups/godsgravesglyphs/, forum.darwincentral.org, www.gopbriefingroom.com)
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To: SunkenCiv; TigerLikesRooster
Yes, there are 2.5 - 3 million refugees from Afghanistan in Iran,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_refugees and they are recruited to fight in Syria.

Afghan Lawmakers Seek To Stop Iran Sending Compatriots To Syria:

Afghan lawmakers are urging their government to undertake a range of bilateral and multilateral diplomatic steps to stop Iran from recruiting Afghans to fight its war in Syria.

Lawmakers are urging Kabul to address the issue after reports emerged this week that more than 10,000 Afghan fighters deployed by Iran to defend the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad have been killed or injured in the past five years.

Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, chairman of Meshrano Jirga, the upper house of the Afghan Parliament, says he wants Kabul to publicly address the issue.

https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-iran-fatemiyoun-division-diplomacy/28967174.html

However, most of these refugees are from the Hazara minority in Afghanistan. This means that for the majority Sunnis it is OK to reduce their number.

Furthermore

20 posted on 01/23/2018 10:55:36 AM PST by AdmSmith (GCTGATATGTCTATGATTACTCAT)
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