BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – The powerful pro-government paramilitary unit, Al-Baqir Brigade, has vowed to capture the territories controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern Deir Ezzor.
In the video, one of the commanders of the Al-Baqir Brigade, Fadi Al-‘Afays, says in the presence of a Russian soldier that his forces are ready to attack and capture these territories from the SDF.
The Syria-based Al-Watan publication released a similar report on Sunday that reiterated the claim about the supreme commander of the Al-Baqir Brigade, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Bashir, heading to Deir Ezzor from Damascus in the coming days.
The Al-Baqir Brigade is one of the most powerful factions in the Iranian-backed Local Defense Forces (LDF); they have participated in several operations alongside the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), including the offensives in Aleppo and southern Al-Raqqa.
Many of the Al-Baqir Brigade’s early operations took place in the Aleppo Governorate; this is due to the large number of Al-Baggara (var. Al-Baqqara, Al-Bakkara) tribesmen that are currently part of this paramilitary group.
However, unlike the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF), the Al-Baqir Brigade and many LDF units work closely with the Iranian troops and Hezbollah, which is one of the reasons for their strong antipathy for the U.S.-backed groups and western-led Anti-ISIS Coalition.
It is worth noting that the Al-Baqir Brigade has threatened the U.S.-backed forces in Syria on a number of occasions; however, these factions have rarely come to blows in Syria.