Iranian militias launch arrest campaign against young people in Deir Ezzor: report

Dec 05, 2020

The Iranian-backed militias that control large areas of the eastern region of Syria have reportedly launched a new campaign of arrests against a number of young men in the villages of the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, in search of individuals ‘wanted’ over allegations of dealing with the US coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (PKK).

SY24’s correspondent in the Eastern Province reported that the Zainabiyoun Brigade, a predominantly Pakistani militia supported by Iran’s so-called Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), carried out a campaign of arrests on Friday in the villages of Al-Masarab and Al-Tabni in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor.

The correspondent further indicated that more than 20 young men were arrested and taken to the buildings around the local salt mine, which have been turned into one of the IRGC’s local headquarters; these include several branches, one of which is used for interrogation.

The correspondent confirmed that the officers searched the detained youths, confiscating their personal belongings including cell phones, during their arrest, with the detainees’ fate remaining unknown.

The Zainabiyoun and Fatimiyoun militia are deployed across several locations in Deir Ezzor, establishing military headquarters in the town of Al-Tebniy, west of Deir Ezzor city and in the Al-Mayadeen desert, in addition to having a large presence at the Albu Kamal crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border, where they supervise drug trafficking operations.

The city of Deir Ezzor, which is controlled by the Assad regime, is suffering from major economic deterioration due to the control of the Syrian regime and its affiliated militias over it, as well as due to the economic crises and massive corruption plaguing the country, leaving most of the city's residents below the poverty line.

It should also be noted that many other young people in Deir Ezzor governorate have been arrested by SDF personnel, often with support from US coalition forces, with the SDF also reportedly killing a number of detainees under torture. All this comes after the SDF, the US coalition, Iran, Assad and Russia each claim to have been responsible for driving the terrorist group ISIS (Daesh) out of the area.

Original report (edited) in Arabic from SY24:

Photo of Zeinabiyoun Brigade militiamen from SY24