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Iran opens office in north-east Syria Kurdish region to recruit new militants

March 19, 2023 at 12:20 pm

A general view shows a camp where detained Daesh families are held in Ain Issa in the Syrian northern Kurdish region [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Iran and its proxy militias have reportedly opened an office in Syria’s north-eastern Kurdish region of Hasakah province, with the aim to find new young recruits for the Iran-backed militant groups in the area.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Iranian elements are attempting to recruit vulnerable young men in the poor north-eastern province of Syria from the new office, offering them a monthly salary of $200. Eighty men are reported to be working voluntarily in that office.

The new recruitment base in Syria’s Kurdish-dominated region is part of Iran and its militias’ effort to expand their military and political influence in the country and throughout the wider region.

Tehran and its proxies have for years been establishing sites in Syria from which to operate and conduct their activities, attempting to do so by either buying land and real estate, or at times destroying and stealing properties to turn them into militia headquarters.

Until recently, however, those efforts have largely been limited to the capital Damascus and its surrounding areas, southern and western Syria, and more recently the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor across the Euphrates River.

The new office in the north-east therefore represents a new period of expansion by Iran and its proxies, and according to some reports, is part of a direct effort to establish more of a presence in areas adjacent to Russian forces in the area and country while Moscow is tied down in its invasion of Ukraine.

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