Three Afghan Shia militia members die in Syrian desert attack

Three Afghan Shia militia members die in Syrian desert attack
Three members of an Iran-backed militia were killed in a drive-by shooting in the Syrian desert that bore the marks of an Islamic State attack.
2 min read
19 September, 2023
IS controlled large swathes of Syria for years before its defeat in 2019 [Getty/archive]

At least three members of an Iran-backed militia were killed in the Syrian desert on Monday in an attack likely carried out by remnants of the Islamic State group (IS).

Three militants from the Fatemiyoun Brigade died and others were injured after their vehicle was fired at with machine guns on a road running through Syria’s Homs and Deir az-Zour governorates, sources told The New Arab’s sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The Fatemiyoun Brigade are an Afghan Shia militia which have fought alongside other Iran-backed factions to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad during the country's conflict, which has been running for over 12 years.

Although IS lost control of the territory it once held in Syria, sleeper cells remain active in the Syrian Desert, and the extremist organisation continues to carry out hit-and-run attacks that have killed rival militia members, Syrian regime forces personnel, and civilians.

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Earlier this month, Russian warplanes carried out airstrikes on caves and hideouts used by IS militants in desert areas largely controlled by the Syrian regime and Iran-backed militias.

The war in Syria conflict is believed to have killed well over half a million people and displaced around half of the country’s pre-war population, mostly as a result of regime bombardment of civilian areas.

Syria's economy and infrastructure are in ruins as a result.