The Shia Militia Fatemiyoun (“Hezbollah Afghanistan”) – The Main Militia Operating in Syria

Following the US attack on August 23rd against a military compound of the Fatemiyoun militia, Northwest of Deir Ez-zor (Northeastern Syria), and further to the reports about the reinforcement of the militia’s forces in the region of southern Syria and near the Jordanian border. below is a summary of the militia which is considered the largest and central militia currently operating in Syria under the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Liwa Fatemiyoun is a senior combat militia deployed by Iran in the 1980s in the war against the Soviet conquest of Afghanistan, and later in the Iran-Iraq war. The militia is constituted by thousands of Shiite Afghani refugees living in Iran, some of them forced to fight in Syria in exchange for the arrangement of their residence in Iran. Liwa Fatemiyoun (aka “Hezbollah Afghanistan”), in its current structure, was established in 2013 by Qasem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force, to aid the fighting in Syria, primarily against ISIS and others. The militia bloomed into a large, independent militia brigade comprising of thousands of recruits by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The proclaimed objective of the militia’s deployment by Iran (for propaganda purposes) was the defense of the holy Sayyida Zaynab site located in the Damascus area. In practice, however, the militia fought on the various battlefronts alongside the Syrian Army in Syria’s civil war. Among other locations, Liwa Fatemiyoun fought in southern Syria, and even today, some of its combatants are deployed adjacent to the border with Israel in the Daraa province.

One of the militia’s prime objectives is safeguarding the Iranian Shiite ground axis.

Additional information on Liwa Fatemiyoun and other Shiite militias deployed in Syria can be found in our special report:

In the photo: Fatemiyoun militia operatives at a religious ceremony in Abu Kamal.
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Tal Beeri

Tal Beeri

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