Syrian regime arms Arab tribes in Hasakah, Kurds express fears

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Pro-Assad militants of National Defense Army in Hasakah. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Hasakah, Syria – In addition to manipulating minorities in its war against opponents, the Syrian regime has helped form yet another pro-Assad militia in Hasakah province, in northeastern Syria, activists reported.

A new militia under the name “Maghawir Forces” was formed to support the Syrian regime’s regular army in Hasakah. 

In the meantime, the pro-Assad militia of al-Baath Brigades in Hasakah announced Monday that a third batch of the so-called “Maghawir Forces” was prepared to join the fight. 

According to al-Baath militia, the newly graduated group included 276 members of the Arab tribes who have been trained on tactics of attacking operations at the hands of the elite of the Syrian Arab Army officers, including different specializations such as tanks, artillery, marksmanship, and engineering.

“The opportunity is attainable for any volunteers to join the Maghawir Forces to participate in the national defense,” the pro-regime militia said in a statement on Tuesday, pointing out that the financial compensation will be up to 50 thousand SP. 

Speaking to ARA News in Hasakah, activists said that the Maghawir militia fighters were receiving military training in the Security Branch of Kawkab (10 km eastern Hasakah) and in the military Regiment 15 (Tartab) in the city of Qamishli, under the supervision of the regime.

“The volunteers in the militia are treated as any other soldier in the Syrian army, enjoying the same compensation.” 

“Serving in the militia will help minimize the duration of compulsory service in the Syrian army,” the sources added. 

Also in Hasakah, the civil rights activist Zinar Mohamed told ARA News that the military governor, Major General Mohamed Kaddour, had met with a number of representatives of the Arab tribes in the governorate building of the city.

During the meeting, Major Kaddour reportedly demanded the tribes’ leading figures convince young men to join the regime’s militias and participate in the defense of the province in the face of “terrorist threats”.

Similar to the pro-Assad militia of National Defense Army, the Maghawir militia consists of armed groups made up of members of the Arab tribes of the province of Hasakah. 

According to Kurdish activists, arming Arab tribes in the Kurdish-majority province of Hasakah could have long-term consequences, expressing fears of a Kurdish-Arab conflict in future. 

 

Reporting by: Zaradasht Khalil

Source: ARA News

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