Are Iranian commandos training new Syrian paramilitary force?
A pro-government supporter kisses a poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
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Iran has trained a new pro-regime paramilitary force in Syria to fight what is increasingly becoming a guerilla war, according to an anti-regime watchdog.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the force, called the National Defense Army, has evolved from militias organized to protect pro-regime neighbourhoods from rebels.
According to the report, most of the fighters are loyal to the Ba’ath Party and are not connected to the shabiha militias.
"The Syrian authorities are set to create ... a National Defence Army, parallel to regime forces, so that the (regular) army is freed up for combat," Russia Today reported, citing an unnamed official.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory, told AFP that the popular committees, as they are known, “includes an elite fighting force trained by Iran."
“Iran has provided training to the paramilitary force's commando fighters," he said.
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