MESOP NEWS BACKGROUNDER : Regime Asks Iran to Fund All Pro-Assad Militia

29 May 2017 – The Assad regime has asked Iran to take over the supervision and payroll of all militia, according to a regime official.Militiamen have been been paid by Iran, Hezbollah, and the regime in the past, but the official said Tehran will now take over all payments: The number of Shia militia has increased dramatically during the last two months.

While a big part of these militia were recruited by Iran, a relatively big part was recruited by the Syrian government directly. We are speaking about more than 50,000 militants from different nationalities. The Syrian government requested that Iran provide for all of the mentioned militias.

The statement confirmed a report in the pro-opposition Syrian news website Zaman al-Wasel that it obtained a regime Defense Ministry document, summarizing the Assad regime’s approval of a plan to give Iran responsibility. The document put the number of fighters to be paid at 88,733 — a figure analysts say is exaggerated. Iran’s military support has been essential in propping up the Assad regime and its military since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011. In September 2012, with the regime’s ground forces at breaking point, Tehran began the organization of militia with a goal of 50,000 fighters. The Iranians also began bringing in Pakistani and Iraqi militias and began training Afghan immigrants whom it recruited with a combination of incentives and threats, while Hezbollah put in thousands of fighters from spring 2013.