Recent moves by Iranian-backed Liwa Fatemiyoun (لواء فاطمیون) and Liwa Zainebiyoun, two units of Afghan and Pakistani Shi’ites who serve in Syria with the IRGC, appear to correspond to new tensions between the US, Iran and Israel and may also involve moves by Russia in Syria. At the very least the recent reports indicate not only that the two units are growing more open about their presence between Albukamal and Deir Ezzor and that posturing between Tehran, Moscow, Damascus, Washington and Jerusalem tie into this presence and its ramification.
The two units sit astride a key strategic corridor for Iran and pro-Iranian groups in Syria, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq.
Sada AlSharqieh, a Syrian media “organization that is working to cover the situations in Eastern of Syria” put up a video of the units in Albukamal (البوكمال). It was posted on their Facebook page and on Twitter, with the description: “a video of a religious celebration for the militia of Zeinaboun in Albukamal In the open air during Ramadan days.” This video circulated on May 15 but was likely taken earlier. It is one of several recent photos that have placed these Afghan and Pakistan units in and around the Imam Ali base and Albukamal…
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