Syrian Regime Builds New Paramilitary Force Aided by Iran

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President Bashar Assad's regime has put together a new paramilitary force of men and women, some trained by key ally Iran, to fight what is now becoming a guerrilla war, a watchdog said Monday.

The force, dubbed the National Defense Army, gathers together existing popular committees of pro-regime civilian fighters under a new, better-trained and armed hierarchy, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The popular committees were originally formed to protect pro-regime neighborhoods from rebels.

"The (regular) army is not trained to fight a guerrilla war, so the regime has resorted to creating the National Defense Army," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Most of the new fighters are members or supporters of the ruling Baath party, said Abdel Rahman. "They include men and women, and members of all the sects."

The new force is not connected to the pro-regime shabiha militia, which the army and security forces have deployed ever since the outbreak of an anti-regime revolt to help it suppress dissent across the country.

Members of the paramilitary force, like the popular committees before, will focus on fighting in their own neighborhoods.

On Friday, Moscow's Russia Today reported on its website that the new National Defense Army was being set up to "defend districts against gunmen".

"The Syrian authorities are set to create ... a National Defense Army, parallel to regime forces, so that the (regular) army is freed up for combat," the website reported citing an unnamed official.

Abdel Rahman, whose Observatory relies on a network of activists and medics on the ground, said Iran was involved in building the paramilitary force.

"The paramilitary force includes an elite fighting force trained by Iran," Abdel Rahman told Agence France Presse.

"Iran has provided training to the paramilitary force's commando fighters."

Iran, Damascus' key regional ally, staunchly backs Assad and in September 2012 said its elite Quds Force, which is tasked with carrying out operations outside the Islamic republic, was giving Damascus "counsel and advice".

On the ground, an activist said the new force was already active in the central province of Homs.

"The number of regime fighters in the province has swelled in recent days, as the National Defense Army has started to come into action," anti-regime activist Hadi al-Abdullah told AFP via the Internet from the rebel-held town of Qusayr.

Comments 31
Thumb shab 21 January 2013, 16:39

Now it's clear what the filthy militia ie "pilgrims" has been doing in Syria. Ok this will prolong the liberation but the outcom is inevitable.

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 17:04

the filthy zionist scum trash worm uses some stupid report from mossad to build their so called "case"

Missing mohammad_ca 21 January 2013, 18:05

uhuh, remember that this group was the first to actually break the story of hizbocrap fighters defending ASSad in Syria...and that turned out to be correct...

Missing mohammad_ca 21 January 2013, 20:30

nasrocrap admitted to having his people fighting in Syria...and according to the body bags that are coming back, Allah yzeed w ybarek...

Thumb bigsami 22 January 2013, 05:32

Scum Farsi HABALamel....the only filth on this planet is animals like yourself aka BSThrower/Motormouth that condone/praise blood thirsty terrorists like Iran and their servants!

Missing mohammad_ca 21 January 2013, 18:12

to these idiots it's their "jihadist duty" that they're carrying out against the "infidels"...but their end will come soon with will their aides in hizbocrap...

Thumb geha 21 January 2013, 16:53

wish anyone fighting in Syria killing its defenseless people to have the worst kind of death.
what is going on there is inhumane, and this tyrant is still finding more ways to kill his people

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 17:05

the filthy zionist scum, under different nickname now want to make big story out of unconfirmed reports that probably came from mossad

Missing mohammad_ca 21 January 2013, 18:06

65000 martyrs are unconfirmed? bayyak is unconfirmed...

Missing samiam 21 January 2013, 18:27

too bad the syrian regime has killed more people than the 'zionist' state has done in 60 years. filth is filth, and the baathist state is more filthy than most.

don't you hate facts

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 17:36

the filthy zionist scum want to deny syrian people to have resistance against wahabi/zionist scum

Missing samiam 21 January 2013, 18:28

and you want to deny them freedom from regime that has killed more lebanese and syrians than any other entity

Missing peace 21 January 2013, 18:27

it only shows how desperate this regime is....

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 19:56

your pathetic zionist propaganda shows how pathetic you are your entity is

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 19:57

the filthy zionist scum hallucinate that anyone killed more people on middle east than zionist entity.

well, you are right. americans did

Default-user-icon Gabby (Guest) 21 January 2013, 19:09

Seems like the Syrian army and Hezz together are not up to the task of winning, so now they are trying something new.

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 19:56

the filthy zionist scum repeat mossad propaganda (65 000 dead yeah sure, and many of them are imported islamists), and think they can prove point with that.


Missing peace 21 January 2013, 20:59

boring ahbal... yawn.......

Missing realist 22 January 2013, 05:10

just exactly how blind are you? how many have died in Syria according to your figures? there are more than 2 million refugees now, did they escape the fireworks or the mig fighter jets?

Default-user-icon omar el solh (Guest) 21 January 2013, 20:10

this shows the real will of the real Syrian citizens to defend their country from all the corruption and kick out all those intruders who are fighting a REVOLUTION while most of them are either FOREIGNERS or financed by FOREIGNERS. God will show all traitors in the Arab world that revolution is not made by GUNS otherwise the whole population will turn against them.

Default-user-icon Nabil; (Guest) 23 January 2013, 05:24

Is this a joke? Seriously? The regime is defending "their country from all the corruption"? The Assad regime is a byword for corruption. The regime is a decrepit kleptocracy. The way Arab governments will defeat those who have designs on our homeland is to develop a true partnership of the people with the government. The nature of the relationship must change. The government is a servant of the people and not a "ruler". The government provides defense, medical care, schools, roads, utilities and services. The president is not a ruler for life who wants only to stay in power at all costs.

Please don't be naive- this is not about Assad wanting to serve Arabism. He simply loves his place and wants to stay there- forever.

Default-user-icon Truly Lebanese (Guest) 21 January 2013, 20:47

whatever Bashar does now he is doomed he is just making his end more cruel

Thumb jcamerican 21 January 2013, 22:18

If this is true. Then the fight will be as long as the lebanese civil war. I guess Assad will have another chance. Look at Lebanon, with all the fighting over the years, still the same leaders in place.

Default-user-icon houna (Guest) 21 January 2013, 23:01

What is the difference from this v.s. Chabbiha? same product different cover.

Thumb rover98 22 January 2013, 00:30

The Shia need to stop being delusional about their self declared holy mission in Sunni Syria and Lebanon as their project (whatever this is?)
ha already failed and their axis of Infallibility has failed and they are only a majority in Iran.

Thumb rover98 22 January 2013, 14:18

Who is talking about Iran as a country but its direct allies of Hez/ Mahdi/ Shabiha not mention Revolutionary guards all who have joined the orgy of slaughter under the motive of Shia solidarity. No amount of revision history can hide these plain facts.

Default-user-icon Myra L. Khatib (Guest) 22 January 2013, 00:36

Manipulation by Global Elitists - They Pay Those who Need Money to do their Dirty Work All Over The World. "Intelligence" Organizes the Networks for Para-Military and Militias. Libya is the "Door" to Africa
Syria is the Door To IRAN. The Middle East is Being Remapped. Africa also. Saudi Arabia will be divided as well. The Rebuilding Contracts are already in the works! Dubai Chamber of Commerce Met Nov. 21, 2012 with Syria's "outside" Business Community. Wars are DESIGNED!

Thumb primesuspect 22 January 2013, 04:29

Bashar is producing the new generation of shabihas... may god have mercy on the civilian's souls

Missing realist 22 January 2013, 05:07

To the bashar thugs on here who have no blood in their veins and only hatred and racism against their fellow suni arabs. This is bad news for you, the army and shabi7a are not enough to quel the rebellion and nor will this rag tab paper tiger 'army'. The sunis you hate will take power in damascus sooner or later and thanks to your stupidity the war is coming to the beka3 valley sooner or later.

Thumb jcamerican 23 January 2013, 11:17

The only hardcore here is your sexy pic. Plus he is posting in English.

Default-user-icon donoaccoria (Guest) 16 September 2013, 17:45

Whitman is in a similar spot,Under the law, sblm cek clear,?