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Iran's influence expands in southern Daraa province

(Zaman Al Wasl)- The Iranian agenda in southern Daraa province has become clearer with the recruitment of young people and the investment of its strategic location as it borders Jordan and is close to the Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights. 

Iran’s influence in Daraa is another card to pressure and threaten neighboring countries.

Analyst Walid al-Nofal said that Iran has supported local militias following the reconciliation  deal in July 2017 that established a de-escalation zone in southwest Syria.

According to local sources, there are organizations operating under a civil cover, such as Zahra Association, which was established in October 2018, and Tammuz association managed by Mazen Hamidi. All of them received open support from the Khamenei office and the Iranian Consulate in Damascus and to expand its influence it facilitated the formation of People’s Party, founded by a member of the People's Assembly, Nawaf Abdul Aziz Tarad al-Mulhim. There are reports of activating the Syrian Hezbollah branch.

 Some of the pro-Iran militias in Daraa:

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, deployed in the city of al-Sanamayn inside the headquarters of the "Ninth Division" one of the military formations of the army of the Assad regime.

Lebanese Hezbollah, led by Haj Iyad al-Qasim, opened several recruitment offices in several towns in Daraa and the 52nd Brigade in Harak that controls the area of ​​the Yarmouk under the name of Air Force Intelligence.

Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, deployed within the headquarters of the Fifth Division, one of the most important sites launching platforms short and medium range missiles.

 Al-Areen Brigade, spread over many productive agricultural lands and trying to seize private property through generous investment offers.

.Liwa Hussein

Brigade 313, affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah and established in 2017, most of its members are of the Shiite community in Daraa.

Al-Radwan forces, deployed in the 89th Regiment of the regime's military near the town of Jbab.

4th Division Al Ghaith forces, closest to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Regiment 666", operating under the Fourth Division, and according to Abu Mahmoud Hourani, spokesman for the "Horan Free League", most of the Iranian-backed militias are disguised as regime army.

Al-Hourani added that the rumor that the people of the province join these militias for material reasons is not true, since the monthly salary of its members does not exceed $100, while the main reason is mostly for personal protection and to stop prosecutions.

Dia Qaddour, Researcher in the Iranian affairs, said that Iranian militias are also deployed in several strategic hills, most notably: Tal Gharaba, Tal Arid, Tal al-Hara, and Tal al-Miqdad.

The researcher also pointed out that the IRG provided its militias with tactical missiles most notably the Fajr 3-4-5 rockets, Iranian-made (supported by China and North Korea), with a range of 75 km. Raad missile, with 75% accuracy and carrying an explosive head weighing 100 kg. The Earthquakes 1-2 bombs, operating on solid fuel and carrying explosive materials up to 600 kg; the range of earthquake1 is 150 km, and earthquake2, 200 km. Fateh-110 missile, weighing 3tons, Iranian-made with a high-explosive warhead that weighs 500 kg and with a range of 200 km. As well as a Russian-made Katyusha rocket launcher with a range of 12 to 25 km. Armed Iranian militias also include second-generation Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles, second-generation Metis anti-tank missiles, SA-7-14 shoulder-fired missiles, with a 7 km range.

Daraa was originally inhabited by the Shiite community that worked to spread Shiism in 2005, and took the town of Qarfa, birthplace of Rustum Ghazaleh, as a base, as well as other towns. However, what is striking in the current stages is the facilitation by the Directorate of Awqaf Daraa for the activities of Shiite clerics.

According to Walid Al-Nofal, the Shiite project and construction of Husseiniyat in Daraa province is still limited so far, with weekly civil movements demanding the overthrow of the regime and the release of the detainees, as residents view Iran and Russia as occupying powers that have contributed to the destruction of their areas and the killing of their children.

Zaman Al Wasl
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