Despite widespread popular sympathy shown by residents of areas controlled by the Syrian opposition in northwestern Syria with Ukraine, reports and news that spoke of the Syrians’ intention to travel to Ukraine met with strong condemnation from some figures.
Northern Syria – Bilal Al-Idlibi (pseudonym), a former fighter in the opposition factions in Idlib, northern Syria, expresses his desire to fight alongside the Ukrainians, “to take revenge on Russia and its soldiers” after losing wife and three years – the eldest daughter in the bombing of his hometown by Russian fighter jets 4 years ago.
Al-Idlibi says – in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net – that the experience he gained in fighting the Syrian regime since 2012 enabled him to fight Russian forces in Ukraine. According to him, the Russians are “an enemy of the Syrian and Ukrainian people and they must be fought everywhere.”
In response to statements by the opposition refusing to turn Syrians into mercenaries and calling for a focus only on fighting Russian forces in Syria, al-Idlbi responded that faction leaders, whom he described as “failed”, refuse to open any battle at present against regime forces and Russians in Syria, “under the pretext” of understanding, international relations between Turkey and Russia, and a ceasefire.
In addition to al-Adlibi, Syrians in opposition-controlled areas express their desire to fight Russia – an ally of the Syrian regime – and support the Ukrainians, believing that “its defeat is a victory for the Syrian revolution for which they came out 11 years ago. “
New arena of confrontation
On the other hand, it is certain that elements of militias loyal to the Syrian regime are ready to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine. Security officers and others from the pro-Russian Fifth Corps began recording the lists of Syrians who wanted to fight there.
With both sides preparing to take part in the fighting in the Ukraine war, there are recently growing fears that Ukraine will return to a new arena of war in which loyalists and opponents of the Syrian regime are fighting, as the fronts fighting inside Syria to have calmed down. .
In areas controlled by the Syrian regime in Damascus and Aleppo, pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin in military uniform cover most of the road signs in both cities, in what appears to be a clear support for and support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. that the regime government calls a “Russian ally.”
The character of the support took the form of preparations to get involved in the fighting, as the leaders of the militias loyal to the Syrian regime began to register the lists of those who wanted to fight alongside Russia in its attack on Ukraine. Observers estimate that this desire was motivated by financial wages and monthly salaries, as they fell into the worst economic crisis the country is going through.
Informed sources told Al Jazeera Net from Aleppo and rural Hama that the “National Defense” militia has opened a registry office for the names of fighters in its ranks, in order to prepare them to fight in Ukraine, in exchange for salaries. ranging from $ 300 to $ 400 per month, and in exchange for six-month contracts.
The sources added that the description given to the Syrian fighter loyal to the regime and that he is preparing to travel to Ukraine is a voluntary “security guard”, denying so far any trip of the fighter to Ukraine and stressed that the operation is in progress. of preparing and awaiting instructions from the Russian side.
Sources said that these people found in the Russian war a new opportunity to make money through fighting, because they do not own any other business or profession, and their only source of livelihood is involvement in the battles in Syria, which is experiencing a calm careful. between the parties to the conflict.
Ready for a street fight?
On his personal Facebook page, Nabel Abdullah, commander of the “National Defense” militia in the town of Suqaylabiyah in the village of Hama, said he was awaiting instructions to go to Ukraine and fight alongside Russian forces.
According to a recording video broadcast by Abdullah, members of the militia he leads are “ready to introduce new things, similar to those they have not seen before, such as street fighting and war routes,” and said his forces had won the war. in Syria against terrorists, as he said.
The preparations come at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would welcome foreign volunteers to fight alongside his army, while his defense minister said 16,000 volunteers in the Middle East were ready to fight Moscow in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that Moscow was deploying Syrian mercenaries during the war, in which he said his country had reached a strategic turning point.
“They are not mercenaries”
Despite widespread popular sympathy shown by residents of areas controlled by the Syrian opposition in northwestern Syria, reports and news reports about the fighting of Syrians and their intention to travel to Ukraine met with strong condemnation from some figures.
There are no camels or camels for the Syrians in the battles taking place in Ukraine, according to the spokesman of the Syrian Islamic Council, Muti ‘Al-Batin, who said that the war should be fought on Syrian soil against the regime and its regime. allies and those who destroy and tear the country apart.
Al-Batin added – in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net – that followers of the Syrian regime, who are being talked about recruiting to fight in Ukraine, “do not worry about religion, morals, honor or anything else. They stood against the Syrian people and against the revolution of the free people in Syria.
Al-Bateen refused to describe the Syrians as “mercenaries”, stressing that it is inappropriate in any way and under any circumstances to describe them as mercenaries.