04:29 GMT +3 hours25 May 2016
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Rebel fighters in Syria

US-Backed Shia Fighters Turn to Assad Reports

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Three Shia divisions, who fought Daesh in Iraq, are fighting now in the south and south-east of the province of Aleppo supporting the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Daily Beast quoted US officials as saying.

Several Iraqi Shia divisions, previously backed by US are battling now in Syria on behalf of Bashar al-Assad against Syrian militias backed by US forces, according to the Daily Beast citing two representatives of the US Department of Defense.

"At least three Shia divisions involved in successful battles against ISIS in Iraq-the Badr Brigade, Kata'ib Hezbollah, and the League of the Righteous-have acknowledged taking casualties in fighting in south and southeast Aleppo province," the statement said.

The US military confirmed that "they believe… at least one" unit of the Badr Brigade is fighting in southern Aleppo alongside other Iraqi militia groups" supported by "Russian airpower and Iranian troops-and all of whom are bolstering President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Army."

Researcher Philip Smith of the University of Maryland also told journalists that Iran and Russian air forces support rebels especially in Aleppo. In particular, it is known that the brigade "Asaib Ahl al-Haq"(the "League of the Virtuous") is backed by the Iranian military.

Another brigade of Shia militias "Kata'ib Hezbollah" is a Shia militant group, which in the past had actively participated in battles against the international coalition led by the United States during the Iraq war.

According to the UN, the ongoing armed conflict in Syria claimed the lives of 220,000 people since March 2011. Government troops are confronted with a gang of militants belonging to various armed groups. The most active terrorist groups are Daesh and al-Nusra front forces.

There is no united front to fight Daesh — Syrian and Iraqi governmental forces, the US-led coalition (so far limited to airstrikes) as well as the Kurds, Lebanese and Iraqi Shia rebels are all using different means and tactics. Adding to the Syrian Army's anti-terror effort is Russia's ongoing air campaign in Syria which was launched on September 30, when more than fifty Russian warplanes, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 jets, commenced precision airstrikes on Daesh and Al-Nusra Front targets in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Related:
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Squeezed Out of Syria, Daesh's Next Target Could Be the House of Saud
Rouhani: Guess Who Stirs Up Shia-Sunni Divide, Arms Daesh and Bombs Yemen?
Tags:
Iraqi fighters, Shia militias, The League of Righteous, Kata'ib Hezbollah, Badr Brigade, Daesh, US Department of Defense (DoD), Al-Nusra Front, Bashar al-Assad, Iran, Syria, United States, Russia
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  • Beady-eyed Insomniac
    Easy to understand that this fruit salad of disjointed 'government army' has made some bizarre alliances to survive and have the means with which to fight. No wonder the 'who is who' is difficult to follow. Wont be long and some of the rebel units will see the light at the end of the tunnel is a train - and switch to supporting Assad.
  • goaismine
    Thats not so important whats more important is that Iran said to today
    they are willing to give Damascus Air Space Defense in case of a Turkey/Saudi-Inavsio led by
    the US- as i have say it over and over again Iran has trained about 20 000 EliteTroops for a forgein War since about 2 years and also the Brigade of 50 000 are ready to step in
    It will be the end of turkey and saudi arabia once the ball rolls from the east to west
    Iran has all logistik to move such size of troops if Damascus calls Iran for Support
  • Mother Gorilla
    The US is like a naughty kid who can't keep his hands out of the cookie jar, collecting and admiring all these different cookies from different nations, religions and allegiances before it crumbles them, wreaking destruction, ruins and dirt everyhwere.
  • FlorianGeyerin reply togoaismine(Show commentHide comment)
    goaismine,
    Iran has shown as recently as the Iran /Iraq war when the US was backing Iraq and Saddam Hussein that their soldiers are extremely brave. Military losses combined were circa 1 million I think. Iraq used chemical weapons supplied by the USA.

    Saudi and Turkish troops without US air cover would not be very successful in my opinion.
  • marcanhalt
    In 1814 we took a little trip,
    Along with colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississippi.
    We took a little bacon and we took a little beans,
    And we fought the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

    We fired our guns and the British kept a comin',
    There wasn't 'bout as many as there was awhile ago.
    We fired once more and they began to runnin'
    On down the Mississippi to the gulf of Mexico.

    Oh we looked down the river and we seen the british come.
    There must have been a hundred of 'em beatin' on a drum.
    They stepped so high and they made their bugles ring.
    We stood behind our cotton bales and didn't say a thing.

    Old hickory said we could take 'em by surprise,
    If we didn't fire our muskets till we looked 'em in the eyes.
    We held our fire till we seen their faces well,
    Then we opened up our squirrel guns and gave 'em a little, well, we

    Fired our guns and the British kept a comin',
    There wasn't 'bout as many as there was awhile ago.
    We fired once more and they began to runnin'
    On down the Mississippi to the gulf of Mexico.

    We fired our cannons till the barrels melted down,
    Then we grabbed an alligator and we fired another round.
    We filled his head with cannonballs and powdered his behind,
    And when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.

    We fired our guns and the British kept a comin',
    There wasn't 'bout as many as there was awhile ago.
    We fired once more and they began to runnin'
    On down the Mississippi to the gulf of Mexico.

    We fired our guns and the British kept a comin',
    There wasn't 'bout as many as there was awhile ago.
    We fired once more and they began to runnin'
    On down the Mississippi to the gulf of Mexico.


    Goodbye, Daesh! Goodbye, America! Good riddance again, Britain!
  • cast235
    The choice is simple. "WITH US OR AGAINST US"... Syria have no other options.
    Put down weapons swear allegiance, and live, or die fighting. Or RUN!!!

    There is no other option. ANYONE MUST open places and surrender. In that there will be NO DEAL.
    After of course everyone will have enough lands inside Syria to re accommodate
    themselves. Including KURD'S. Russia will have to stay in Syria, and not just in a hub. But have a BIG base. Or this will re occur,. West will NOT stick to the last word. Everyone knows.
  • supporting the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
    --
    Semantics. They are fighting against ISIS not fighting for Assad, and they understand that ISIS is nourished by Turkey via the Aleppo area. If the foreign-backed ISIS is defeated in Syria, it's over. These troops also know that the US coalition will support ISIS more than fight it.
  • arnelmadrinan
    or they will all die...
  • Ivan Buckeye
    Any Shia who would go along with American military venture isn't really a Shia.
  • in reply toIvan Buckeye(Show commentHide comment)
    Ivan Buckeye, Sometimes people don't have a choice. The US gave them the choice of being invaded and killed by ISIL or trained and equipped by NATO (US).
  • goaisminein reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
    FlorianGeyer, I can asure you once Iran steps in if Damascus calls for Support
    Syria will get all Help it needs including Iranian Mobile Air Defense Units on Syrian Soil - Iran has a wide range of options including to send Troops via Iraq on a ground and air coridoor - Of Course Iran could also send Areo Space Troops stationed under the Russian Air Defense Umbrella ( e.g S300/S400 ) Batteries ! their is no doubt whatsoever that Iran would allow
    such Invasion !
  • nusotnusotin reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
    Are we talking about the same legendary Iranian troops, which took 8 years to win a tie against Iraq (which was 1/10th of the Iranian population)? They are scary indeed. I'm sure Turkish and Saudis are on their way to the market to buy diapers.
  • Ann
    What all of those groups loyal to Iraq need to understand, is that if the west is driven out of Syria and out of Libya, then they can be driven out of Iraq. Iraq should be able to count on their friends from those countries, and Russia, to liberate Iraq. Once the western presence is broken, they will have to leave and the middle east can be free of the west. It's what they all want, and they can get it if they work together.
  • Ann in reply toMother Gorilla(Show commentHide comment)
    Mother Gorilla, A very astute analogy.
  • Ann in reply to (Show commentHide comment)
    jas, Yes, that's what we've come to expect from Washington, semantics and blatant lies. IMO, semantics are simply more polite ways to lie and deceive.
  • Ann in reply to (Show commentHide comment)
    jas, they still have a choice as to what they do with that training and equipment, and the U.S. can't do anything about it.
  • Ann in reply tonusotnusot(Show commentHide comment)
    nusotnusot, Weren't they also fighting the west's covert forces in Iraq?
  • Mother Gorillain reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
    sixpack6t9, thanks,

    Barack Obama climbed a great wall,
    Barack Obama took a great fall,
    all of Erdogan's horses and all of his men
    couldn't put the Ottoman empire back together again.

    :)
  • justnfreein reply tonusotnusot(Show commentHide comment)
    nusotnusot, That much courage is scary. Don't forget Iraq was backed by US, USSR, most of Europeans and Arab when Iranians have defeated them and they could only save themselves with large scale use of WMDs.
  • justnfree
    US never backed Badr, Iraqi Hezbullah and Assai'b ul-Haq. Never ever!!
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