In Syria's Aleppo, Shiite Militias Point to Iran's Unparalleled Influence

(Washington Post) Hugh Naylor - Leading the charge against rebel holdouts in the Syrian city of Aleppo are thousands of Shiite militiamen from Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan who are loyal to Iran. These religiously motivated fighters, who have reinforced Syria's badly weakened military, are playing an increasingly critical role in trying to seize opposition-held eastern Aleppo. "They are building a force on the ground that, long after the war, will stay there and wield a strong military and ideological influence over Syria for Iran," said Phillip Smyth, an expert on Shiite militias at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. In Aleppo, Hizbullah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards play prominent leadership roles, directing the foreign Shiite militiamen, many of whom are recruited by, and trained in, Iran.

2016-11-21 00:00:00

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