NCRI – The Syrian government is sending members of its irregular militias for guerrilla combat training at a secret base in Iran, in a move to bolster its armed forces drained by two years of fighting and defections, fighters and activists have told Reuters.
Reuters has interviewed four fighters who said they were taken on the combat course in Iran, as well as opposition sources who said they had also been documenting such cases.
According to the report, the fighters appear to come largely from minority groups that have supported Assad against the mostly Sunni Muslim-led uprising. Such a move could exacerbate the dangerous sectarian dimensions of a conflict that has turned into a civil war that has cost the lives of more than 70,000 people.
“It was an urban warfare course that lasted 15 days. The trainers said it’s the same course Hezbollah operatives normally do,” said Samer, a Christian member of a pro-Assad militia fighting in rural parts of Homs province in central Syria.
“The course teaches you the important elements of guerrilla warfare, like several different ways to carry a rifle and shoot, and the best methods to prepare against surprise attacks.”
“The Iranians kept telling us that this war is not against Sunnis but for the sake of Syria. But the Alawites on the course kept saying they want to kill the Sunnis and rape their women in revenge,” said Samer.