After breaking the Islamic State’s siege on the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, Lebanese Hezbollah and its allies have paraded inside the city.
Forces belonging to Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Liwa al Quds could be seen parading and celebrating near the entrance to Deir Ezzor city in a video uploaded yesterday. In another video produced by Hezbollah’s Al Manar, the commander of regime forces in the city, Issam Zahreddine, were Liwa al Quds fighters while wearing Hezbollah’s flag. The commander also sent his thanks to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah for the group’s efforts. Other fighters in the video above also express thanks to Nasrallah.
Liwa al Quds is a pro-regime militia comprised of Palestinian diaspora from Aleppo province. The militia has fought alongside Syrian, Hezbollah, and Russian troops since its inception in 2013. Since the Russian intervention in Syria began in 2015, the militia has also been awarded many Russian military medals. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Russian influence evident in Palestinian militia in Syria.]
Earlier this week, the Assad regime claimed its forces broke the jihadist siege which had been ongoing since 2014. However, the regime has been backed by Hezbollah, Iranian and Russian troops, and many Iranian-backed militiamen in recent weeks. Videos released by the Russian Ministry of Defense also showed Russian ships targeting Islamic State forces in Deir Ezzor with Kalibr missiles. This has allowed the regime to make new advances in the area. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Islamic State loses more ground in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor.]
Issam Zahreddine (center) with Liwa al Quds fighters and Hezbollah flag: