- Commander says some Syrian fighters prepared for the “war of justice”
- Abdullah says there are no instructions yet to go to Ukraine
- Syria is the closest ally of the Middle East to Russia
- Ukrainian intelligence says 150 Syrians arrived on March 15
- Paramilitary gained combat skills in conflict in Syria
Amman / Beirut, March 20 (Reuters)-Some Syrian paramilitary fighters say they are ready to deploy in Ukraine to fight to support their ally Russia. But they haven’t been instructed to go yet, two of their commanders told Reuters.
Navir Abdullah, commander of the NDF, a paramilitary organization, said he was ready to help Russia with the urban combat expertise gained during the Syrian Wars, the Syrian town of Skylabiya. Talked to Reuters on the phone.
“We will fight this war of justice if directed by Syrian and Russian leaders,” Abdullah said on March 14, four days after President Vladimir Putin allowed 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East to deploy in Ukraine. Told.
Sign up now for unlimited free access to Reuters.com
“We are not afraid of this war and are ready when directed and participated. We will show you what they have never seen … we wage a street war and the tactics we have acquired in the battle. Applies to Syrian terrorists. “
The Kremlin referred Reuters’ request for comment to the Russian Defense Ministry, but the Russian Defense Ministry asked whether Russia intends to direct the deployment of NDF fighters or whether NDF fighters have been adopted so far. Did not respond to the request for comment.
Reuters responds to questions sent to the Syrian Ministry of Information and the military via the Ministry of Information about whether Syria intends to direct the deployment of NDF fighters or whether NDF fighters have been adopted so far. I have not received an answer.
Syria is the closest ally to Russia in the Middle East, and Moscow’s intervention in the Syrian Wars in 2015 was decisive in helping President Bashar al-Assad defeat rebels on most territories of the country. Proved to be.
The NDF emerged from pro-Assad militias early in the Syrian Wars and, with Russian air support, fought in an attack occupying part of a rebel-owned enlave.
Currently, most are demobilized, and Syrian experts say that the number of NDFs is tens of thousands, and that a prolonged Ukrainian war could lead to a large number of Russian recruits.
Simon Wakil, the second NDF commander in the nearby town of Muhradah, told Reuters, “Many people want to join Russia’s brothers (and) allies, but they are instructed by the leadership. I haven’t. “
“We are an auxiliary army that fought with the army and against Russia’s allies. We smashed the terrorists who wage war in Syria,” decorated by Russia and includes an image of a church rally on its Facebook page. Wakeel has added. Fatigue, and Assad.
On March 11, President Putin at a meeting of the Security Council of Russia, if the people of the Middle East want to come to Ukraine on their own will rather than money, Russia should help them “go to the conflict zone” He said.
Putin’s remarks came after Ukraine announced on March 3 that more than 16,000 foreigners had volunteered to fight Russia. Ukraine has established an “international army” for people from abroad.read more
In Washington, US Marine Corps General Frank Mackenzie, head of the Central Command overseeing the U.S. Army in the Middle East, said at a Senate hearing on March 15 that the number of Syrians heading to Ukraine was “trickle.” Said it was like.
“Outside Syria, I believe there is probably a small, small, very small group of people heading to Ukraine. For now, it’s a very small, trickle,” he said.
Two senior local officials with close ties to the Syrian government and three sources close to the Syrian army told Reuters that Russia is trying to take advantage of Syrian people with combat experience for Ukraine.
They said there was a shortage of Russian air force bases in Humeimin, Latakia, Syria, and talked about the conditions of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the problem.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not answer Reuters’ questions about whether the source description was accurate, who was hiring, or how it was proceeding. The Syrian Ministry of Information did not respond to Reuters’ request for a government evaluation of the government’s assessment. Recruitment activities in Russia.
Ukrainian military intelligence said 150 mercenaries had been sent to Russia from Russia’s Humeimin Air Force Base in Syria to participate in military operations against Ukraine. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense intelligence director responded to a question from Reuters.
“After being injured in a battle with Ukrainian defenders,” he said more than 30 fighters had returned from Russia to Humeimin.
Ukrainian military intelligence said recruits had been promised to be used strictly in police roles to maintain order in the occupied territories, but recently about participating directly in military action against Ukrainian troops. Information began to circulate among the mercenaries.
The Russian Ministry of Defense and the Syrian Ministry of Intelligence did not comment on accounts from Ukrainian intelligence.
In a video released on March 11, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine had “information that Russian troops were bringing mercenaries from various countries” and “occupants and power in Ukrainian land.” This is the worst of all who try to match. ” The decision of your life “.
According to local officials, the salary offered to regular new employees is about $ 1,000 a month, about 30 times the salary of Syrian soldiers, and experienced fighters can get $ 2,000.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organization that reports on Syria using sources of all aspects of the conflict, is offered a monthly salary of € 1,000, injured € 7,000 and dead combat. Family of Air It quoted Syrian military sources for information.
No contract had been issued, it said.
When asked by Reuters about reports of money offered or paid to go to Ukraine, NDF commander Wakil denied this and said, “We are volunteers in a legitimate case.”
Reuters was unable to independently verify the details of the indemnity reported by the observatory and regional authorities.
At the March 11 meeting of the Security Council of Russia, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is ready for candidates from the Middle East to fight with Russian-backed troops in the isolated Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Said.
“Many of them we know helped fight (Islamic State) in the most difficult times of the last decade,” Shoigu said in a clear reference to the Syrian conflict.
Sign up now for unlimited free access to Reuters.com
Reported by Amman’s Suleimanal-Khalidi, Beirut’s Laila Bassam and Tom Perry, Washington’s Phil Stewart and Idries Ali, London’s Guy Faulconbridge and Mark Trevelyan, Lviv’s Natalia Zinets, Ron Popeski; Written by Tom Perry; Editor William McLean
Our Standard: Thomson Reuters Trust Principle.