Veteran Baath members establish pro-Assad militia to fight opposition

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Members of the newly formed Baath Brigades

ARA News

Al-Hasakah, Syria – Under the banner “Brigades of Baath are coming”, veteran members of al-Baath party are reorganizing their ranks in Syria’s Hasakah to launch pro-Assad campaigns in the war-torn country.

The campaign is mainly aimed at forming an armed force holding the ideology of the ruling Baath Party to serve the Assad regime and defend its public institutions in Hasakah province in northeastern Syria.

“This campaign came after the pro-Assad forces seized the Geweran neighbourhood in southern Hasakah, where militant fighters had been in control for months. So the hope that Assad will win the conflict has grown and the veteran Baathists want to emphasize their loyalty to the Syrian President,” according to opposition activists in Hasakah.

Speaking to ARA News in al-Hasakah, activist Mohammed Ismail said that the recent security developments that took place in the city of al-Hasakah ـــstarting from the Islamic State’s (IS/ISIS) onslaught on the city more than two months ago, and ending with the infiltrating of the neighborhood of Geweran where they clashed with the pro-regime forcesـــ pushed the security authorities to reconsider the possibility of establishing militias similar to the National Defence Army, which defends regime institutions in Hasakah province.

“Similar to the National Defense, the Baath Brigades, which will be responsible for protecting governmental institutions, were trained by the Special Forces in the Syrian Army,” Ismail reported.

The Baath Brigades will work under the leadership of Mohammed Khaddour, a veteran military commander known for his loyalty to the Assad regime.

“Several leaders of the Baath party in the city of al-Hasakah held a meeting in mid-August, including Hilal Hilal, Assistant Regional Secretary of the Baath Arab Socialist Party, during which participants stressed the need to accelerate the formation of the Baathist armed groups to fill in the security vacuum in the province and protect the governmental institutions against Islamists and other opposition forces,” Ismail told ARA News.

Ismail pointed out that a few days ago pro-regime members wrote slogans that read “Brigades of the Baath to Come” – on the walls of a number of departments and headquarters of the State which is a method used by the regime to indicate that the formation of a new militia is activated.

Noteworthy, the number of the newly formed pro-Assad militias of Baath Brigades is estimated to number 10 thousand volunteers.

 

Reporting by: Zaradasht Khalil

Source: ARA News

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