Iran helps Syria build paramilitary force, report

iran revolutionary guardsPRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad’s regime has put together a new paramilitary force of men and women, some trained by key ally Iran, to fight what is now becoming a guerrilla war, a watchdog says.

The force, dubbed the National Defence Army, gathers together existing popular committees of pro-regime civilian fighters under a new, better-trained and armed hierarchy, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The popular committees were originally formed to protect pro-regime neighbourhoods from rebels.

“The (regular) army is not trained to fight a guerrilla war, so the regime has resorted to creating the National Defence Army,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Most of the new fighters are members or supporters of the ruling Baath party, said Abdel Rahman. “They include men and women, and members of all the sects.”

The new force is not connected to the pro-regime shabiha militia, which the army and security forces have deployed ever since the outbreak of an anti-regime revolt to help it suppress dissent across the country.

Members of the paramilitary force, like the popular committees before, will focus on fighting in their own neighbourhoods.

On Friday, Moscow’s Russia Today reported on its website that the new National Defence Army was being set up to “defend districts against gunmen”.

“The Syrian authorities are set to create … a National Defence Army, parallel to regime forces, so that the (regular) army is freed up for combat,” the website reported citing an unnamed official.

Abdel Rahman, whose Observatory relies on a network of activists and medics on the ground, said Iran was involved in building the paramilitary force.

“The paramilitary force includes an elite fighting force trained by Iran,” Abdel Rahman told AFP.

“Iran has provided training to the paramilitary force’s commando fighters.”

Iran, Damascus’s key regional ally, staunchly backs Assad and in September 2012 said its elite Quds Force, which is tasked with carrying out operations outside the Islamic republic, was giving Damascus “counsel and advice”.

On the ground, an activist said the new force was already active in the central province of Homs.

“The number of regime fighters in the province has swelled in recent days, as the National Defence Army has started to come into action,” anti-regime activist Hadi al-Abdullah told AFP via the internet from the rebel-held town of Qusayr.

The Australian

  • joey

    whoever put this report together he is out of the space the syrian regime been fighting a guerrilla since the born of syria they lost guilan because they where guerrilla and not a proper army the war the fought in lebanon was a guerrilla one the gonna be left with the guerrilla and i hope they will wipe each other

  • joey

    whoever put this report together he is out of the space the syrian regime been fighting a guerrilla since the born of syria they lost guilan because they where guerrilla and not a proper army the war the fought in lebanon was a guerrilla one the gonna be left with the guerrilla and i hope they will wipe each other

  • Amine123

    Bashar and his muderer regime killing the innocent children and his own people to keep his power will not stop the syrian people from seeking freedom and dignity. The world standing helpless against this tyrant, why? HA & Iran helping this killer in killing his own people and they need to be taken out too
    Your days are coming up all of you

    • FreetheME

      So let me get this straight, You actually think that the world is standing helpless and watching while Assad kills his own people. And the reason is because of HA and Iran. An extremely logical comment, “NOT”. La La land must be good. The world you are talking about are doing plenty. Supplying weapons, Money, training as well as army personal fighting inside Syria. The reason Assad is still strong is simple, The majority of the people and the Army are with him. Is that so hard to believe ?.
      Keep listening to the main Stream media, They dictate what you should and should not believe, A bit like a sheep.

  • Amine123

    Bashar and his muderer regime killing the innocent children and his own people to keep his power will not stop the syrian people from seeking freedom and dignity. The world standing helpless against this tyrant, why? HA & Iran helping this killer in killing his own people and they need to be taken out too
    Your days are coming up all of you

    • FreetheME

      So let me get this straight, You actually think that the world is standing helpless and watching while Assad kills his own people. And the reason is because of HA and Iran. An extremely logical comment, “NOT”. La La land must be good. The world you are talking about are doing plenty. Supplying weapons, Money, training as well as army personal fighting inside Syria. The reason Assad is still strong is simple, The majority of the people and the Army are with him. Is that so hard to believe ?.

      Keep listening to the main Stream media, They dictate what you should and should not believe, A bit like a sheep.

  • guss043

    watch the clip, do you really care who wins , let them exterminate each other !!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uVOjeiPPyNk

    • FreetheME

      Gus, we should care, because innocent people are being caught up in the cross fire. Is that not enough to care. Most on this blog live in the western world with rules and regulation and would never have experience what the poor innocent people in Syria are experiencing. I for one do care.

      • guss043

        did u see the guy who like to behead alwaites in the video? , are all the alwaites responsible, today the alwaite tomorrow is the chsitians, already the news that these salafis sent by the saudis and kataris ( nhypocrites nations) wer surprised that Syrai had churches , they thought no christian live there , so could you immagine that we are back to the dark ages

  • Guss Gibs

    watch the clip, do you really care who wins , let them exterminate each other !!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uVOjeiPPyNk

    • FreetheME

      Gus, we should care, because innocent people are being caught up in the cross fire. Is that not enough to care. Most on this blog live in the western world with rules and regulation and would never have experience what the poor innocent people in Syria are experiencing. I for one do care.

      • Guss Gibs

        did u see the guy who like to behead alwaites in the video? , are all the alwaites responsible, today the alwaite tomorrow is the chsitians, already the news that these salafis sent by the saudis and kataris ( nhypocrites nations) wer surprised that Syrai had churches , they thought no christian live there , so could you immagine that we are back to the dark ages