How much is Iran paying for Assad's foreign fighters?

The Assad regime has reportedly asked Tehran to foot the whole bill for tens of thousands of Shia militiamen.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Forces loyal to Syria's Bashar al Assad stand inside the Umayyad mosque, in the government-controlled area of Aleppo, during a media tour, Syria.

The Syrian regime's Defence Ministry has approved a plan to give Iran responsibility to fund foreign fighters fighting against opposition forces in Syria, according to regime document obtained by Zaman Al Wasel, pro-opposition news website, VOA News reported on Friday.

“The number of Shia militia has increased dramatically during the last two months,” the official said in the report. “While a big part of these militia were recruited by Iran, a relatively big part was recruited by the Syrian government directly. We are speaking about more than 50,000 militants from different nationalities. The Syrian government requested that Iran provide for all of the mentioned militias.”

The government document states that 88,733 foreign fighters must be paid, but that is an estimate on the high side, according to the report. The number may be closer to 50,000 foreign fighters. 

Tehran spends $6 billion per year on military aid to the Assad regime, according to the UN. Iran's 2017 defence budget increased by 90 percent from 2016, up to $19 billion. And at least 10,000 Iranian soldiers are currently fighting on the ground in Syria. 

Iran will now fund these foreign militia groups fighting for Syria's Assad regime:

Syrian

  1. Public Support & Security Forces
  2. Homeland Fortress Forces
  3. Arab National Guards
  4. Hussein Lions Brigade
  5. Homeland Shield Forces
  6. Saladin al Ayoubi Brigade
  7. National Defence Forces
  8. Coastal Shield Brigade
  9. Syrian Jazeera Shield
  10. Desert Hawks
  11. Jablowi Batallion
  12. Scorpion Brigade
  13. Syriac Protection Office
  14. Homeland Shield Brigade
  15. Imam Mehdi Army 
  16. Anger Forces
  17. Syrian Resistance

Lebanese

  1. Hezbollah 
  2. Saraya al Ghalboun
  3. Harakat al Saaberine

Syrian - Lebanese

  1. Tornado Eagles
  2. Imam al Baqer Brigade

Palestinian

  1. Al Jaleel Palestinian Forces
  2. Palestinian Liberation Army
  3. Al Baathj Battalions
  4. Intifada Conquest
  5. Vanguard for the Popular Liberation War
  6. Palestinian Popular Struggle Front
  7. Liberation and Return Saraya

Syrian - Palestinian 

  1. Al Quds Brigade

Yemeni

  1. Ansar Allah

Bahraini

  1. Saraya al Mukhtar

Pakistani 

  1. Zeynabioun Brigade

Iraqi

  1. Bader Corps 
  2. Al Zahra Saraya
  3. Khorasan Saraya
  4. Truthful Brigade
  5. Hezbollah al Iraqi
  6. Saraya Ashura
  7. Saraya al Salam
  8. Saraya al Jihad
  9. Imam Ali Brigade
  10. Dhu al Fuqar Brigade
  11. Promised Day Brigade
  12. Hasan al Mujtaba Brigade
  13. Popular Defence Saraya
  14. Faithful Promise Corps
  15. Hezbollah Battalions
  16. Amar bin Yasser Brigade
  17. Al Hamad Brigade
  18. Imam Mehdi Army
  19. Asaib Ahal al Haq
  20. Imam Hussein Brigade
  21. Al Nujba Movement
  22. Rasali Youth Brigade
  23. Abu al Fadi al Abbas Brigade
  24. Master of Martyrs Batallion
  25. Brigade of Victorious Great Lions
  26. Awaiting the Mehdi Appearance Battalions

Afghan

  1. Fatamiyoun Brigade
  2. Afghani Hezbollah

Iranian

  1. Al Quds Force
  2. Iranian 65th Brigade
  3. Basij Forces
  4. Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps
  5. Nakhsa Forces
Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies