On Monday morning, over 400 Iraqi paramilitary fighters from “Kata’eb Imam ‘Ali” (Imam ‘Ali Battalion) arrived in the western Palmyra (Tadmur) countryside after an arduous journey from southern Aleppo to this front in eastern Homs.
According to a member of Kata’eb Imam ‘Ali, the Iraqi paramilitary unit was tasked with the duty to reinforce the Syrian Arab Army’s 550th Regiment and 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Division that are currently attacking the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) at the ancient city of Palmyra.
The member of Kata’eb Imam ‘Ali added that more reinforcements are expected to arrive in the coming days, including Iraqi fighters from Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary) and Firqa Fatayyemoun (Iranian/Afghani paramilitary).
The Lebanese resistance organization “Hezbollah” has some of its soldiers at this desert-front in east Homs; however, they are completely outnumbered by the Iraqi paramilitary fighters that just recently arrived to the city of Palmyra.
While these Iraqi paramilitary fighters are not members of a professional army, they form some of the most effective anti-ISIS units in the region; this is likely due to their religious beliefs and close coordination with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Central Command.
In the coming weeks, more Iraqi paramilitary fighters are expected to arrive in Syria, increasing the number of personnel on the ground to well over 6,000 men.