With the battle for southern Aleppo heating up between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA)/Hezbollah and the Islamist rebels, another 1,100 Iraqi paramilitary fighters have arrived to this province in northern Syria under direct orders from Major General Qassem Suleimani – the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) elite “Quds Force”.
However, this time, the paramilitary fighters did not come from Kataeb Hezbollah or Harakat Al-Nujaba, but rather, Liwaa Abu Fadl Al-‘Abbas; this aforementioned Iraqi paramilitary force has primarily operated in southern Damascus, where they defend the Sayyeda Zaynab Shrine from the sectarian militants attempting to destroy this holy site for Muslims.
According to a military source inside the provincial capital of the Aleppo Governorate, the 1,100 Liwaa Abu Fadl Al-‘Abbas fighters have arrived to the imperative town of Khanasser, which is located just south of their intended destination; this highway has also under attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) recently.
Despite a large presence of Iraqi paramilitary fighters in the Aleppo Governorate, most have yet to see the battlefield and most sit idly in the Al-Safeera District of southeast Aleppo, where they await orders from the Iranian and Russian military advisors that are present at almost every front in the province.
Al-Masdar News recently caught up with an Iraqi paramilitary fighter from Harakat Al-Nujaba over social media; this militiaman was unable to provide much details regarding their assignments, but he was able to confirm that another offensive in the Aleppo Governorate is in the works.
The location of this next offensive is likely in northern Aleppo, where the two predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Zahra’a and Nubl are currently besieged by the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their allies from Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.