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Iranian forces form new groups to boost influence in east Syria

The Fatemiyoun Brigade and the Iranian militias have beefed up their presence in Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria by bringing in more Syrian elements into their ranks and intensifying their religious, military and cultural activities in order to expand and preserve their interests.
A Syrian boy holds the Iranian flag as a truck carrying aid provided by Iran arrives in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on September 20, 2017 while Syrian government forces continue to press forward with Russian air cover in the offensive against Islamic State group jihadists across the province.
Two separate offensives are under way against the jihadists in the area -- one by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, the other by Russian-backed government forces. The Syrian army now controls around 70 percent

ALEPPO, Syria — Iranian forces and affiliated militias in Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria are trying to boost their influence and restore their prestige after suffering a resounding blow at the military, religious and cultural levels following the Israeli airstrikes that targeted Jan. 13 dozens of their sites in the province near the Syrian border with Iraq.

Iranian forces are working to recruit Syrians from Deir ez-Zor and other provinces to join their ranks and form new militias, as part of their plan to cling to their influence and strategic interests in the region. It also conveys a message of confrontation to both Israel and the United States.

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