March 22, 2021
Syrian opposition media outlets are reporting that the Iranian proxy militia, Kataib al-Imam Ali, has opened a new recruitment center at the heart of the regime-run northern city of Aleppo.
Establishing the drafting center took place with consent from the Syrian regime, said local sources.
Javad al-Ghaffari, a prominent Iranian leader who is based in Aleppo, had met with officials at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Damascus to discuss and approve the operation.
All those willing to join the militia, including army defectors and dodgers of compulsory military service, will be accepted, sources predicted. Regime forces will drop their pursuit of anyone drafted into the Iranian militia, even if they are ex-soldiers wanted for decamping or citizens accused of draft evasion.
For Syrian youth living under dire security and economic circumstances, the offer is very tempting.
Syria’s opposition Eye of Euphrates news network published a report revealing the details of the terms and conditions involving registration in Kataib al-Imam Ali.
According to the report, enrolled fighters will receive a monthly salary of $200 if they were married, and $150 if they were single.
They will be deployed to outposts near their home addresses and have to log in 20 days of service each month.
Iran has sought strengthening the presence of its proxies in Syria against the backdrop of a Russian orientation to downsize the role played by Iran-backed militias in war-torn country.
It is worth noting that Iran has trained about 70,000 fighters that formed 128 regiments in Syria.
Russia, after intervening in Syria in 2015, sought to weaken Iran-aligned guerrillas by reinforcing regime forces and forming army divisions for local volunteers.
Iran, however, pushed forward with its recruitment agenda in Syria, forming militias that included foreign mercenaries, members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and fighters from the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia.