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Syria, pro-Iran militias have unexpected new enemies

Pro-Iran militias have unexpected new enemies in eastern Syria. The former ISIS jihadists raise their heads in Deir Ezzor and the local population is increasingly hostile to groups close to Tehran, who retreat inland by strengthening the defenses

Pro-Iran militias in Syria are beginning to fear, not only of Israeli raids, but also of the Islamic State and of the local population itself. According to local sources, several groups close to Tehran have abandoned some advanced posts in Deir Ezzor for fear of attacks, moving further inside the region to more protected areas. Recently, in fact, there has been an escalation of aggressions on group patrols by pro-ISIS jihadists. In addition, some tribal leaders do not welcome the illicit trafficking of the militias, primarily drug smuggling into the region, and have threatened armed responses if it does not stop. The growing tension in the area is also perceived by an ever-decreasing presence of civilians in the cultural centers that Tehran has built in the quadrant and by a sudden drop in requests for enrollment in local formations, despite the high level of unemployment, especially among young Syrians.

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