BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:10 A.M.) – Over the course of ten days, hundreds of Hezbollah and Iraqi paramilitary fighters have poured into the southeastern countryside of Damascus, taking up positions alongside the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their allies.
The Iraqi paramilitaries, comprised of fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd Al-Sha’abi), greatly outnumber the Hezbollah forces in southern Syria and for good reason.
Similar to Hezbollah’s field operations along the Lebanese border from 2013-present, the Iraqi paramilitaries are poised to not only secure the Baghdad-Damascus Highway, but also, seal the border from any jihadist forces.
Elements of the Popular Mobilization Units have been inside of Syria for 15 months, with the initial forces deployed to Damascus (Sayyida Zaynab area), Aleppo, and Deir Ezzor.
The Popular Mobilization Units will now have much more responsibility inside Syria, as the government in Damascus hopes their participation will help eliminate the last remnants of the Islamic State (ISIL) inside the country.