The Islamic Republic of Iran is reportedly recruiting Syrian Shiite Muslims to fight in a pro-Assad regime “parallel army” under the banner of Hezbollah.
Siraj Press reported on Wednesday that one of the goals of the new Hezbollah branch is to bring together Afghan and Iraqi Shias into one cohesive fighting unit.
A source told the outlet, “This army would resemble Hezbollah in Lebanon … and will gradually work on recruiting Syrians.”
A Jordanian military official has suggested that Iran’s authority is second to none in Syria. Major General Fayez al-Doueiri added that the commander of Iran’s Quds force is behind the Hezbollah branch installation initiative. “The decision maker in Syria is General Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds force,” al-Doueiri told Al Hadath.
The Jordanian general further explained that Iraq has been used as a Shiite training ground for fighters planning on engaging in the jihad in Syria. He said that Iran may not see Assad’s Syrian Armed Forces as stable or reliable, and that Tehran has decided to create the Hezbollah “parallel army” to secure its regional interests.
Hezbollah in Lebanon swears allegiance not to its host-state Lebanon, but to the Ayatollah of Iran, Ali Khamenei. The United States, UK, France, Gulf Cooperation Council, EU, and Israel all consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The group was founded and funded by Iran in the early 1980s with hopes of spreading a global Shiite Caliphate.
Although Hezbollah in Lebanon has historically been focused on waging jihad against Israel, the Shia group has recently been engaged in fighting the Syrian Civil War on the side of the Assad regime.
Hezbollah officials have been known to give Nazi salutes and espouse hatred of Jews. In fact, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said of the Jews, “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”