Hashd al-Shaabi fighters in clash with ISIS outside of Fallujah in June. AP file photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A spokesman for the Iraqi Shiite militia known as Hashd al-Shaabi has said the group will cross the border into Syria to fight for President Bashar al-Assad after ISIS is defeated in Mosul.
Ahmed al-Assadi made this remark on Saturday according to Al Arabiya news channel. The Hashd al-Shaabi is currently launching an operation against ISIS in Tal Afar, where they will cut ISIS militants in the city off from the Syrian border.
The group has promised that it will not actually enter Mosul itself, which is predominantly Sunni, but merely secure its western periphery.
Several of the larger and more powerful militias in the Hashd al-Shaabi are funded and supported by Iran, which is the primary backer of the Assad regime in Syria and has been supporting him throughout the course of the ongoing war there. They have also sent their own Shiite paramilitaries to support his forces in Aleppo.
Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, the Hezbollah militia, intervened directly on Assad’s side three years ago to help prop up his regime.