Skip to main content

Syrian Shiites take up arms in support of Assad's army

Syria's tiny Shiite community is taking greater steps toward arming itself as the civil war grinds on.
Fighters loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad rest on a hill after regaining control of Tal Fatima, a town south of Damascus, in the Daraa countryside March 1, 2015. Government forces say they've regained control of this and many other villages in the south - wresting them back from rebel hands.A general made the announcement on state television, saying a large number of Nusra Front fighters were killed and their weapons destroyed. The gains were said to happen on Friday and Saturday in a large offens

In the four years since the start of the civil war in Syria, Shiite groups have been fighting militant Salafists alongside the Syrian army. The most prominent of these groups is the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, whose presence has had a direct impact on developments on the ground in Syria.

Recently, however, another Shiite group in Syria has caught the media’s attention. Quwat al-Ridha has stepped into the limelight because unlike other Shiite militias, whose ranks are made up of people coming in from abroad, members of this group belong to Syria’s small Shiite community.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.