The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has founded a new pro-government armed group in Daraa governorate in southern Syria, the Saudi state-run medi outlet al-Arabiya TV reported on November 9.
Al-Arabiya TV said that the new group is named the 313 Brigade, the number 313 is a holy number for Shiites. The report added that all the fighters of the new armed groups are exclusively Shiites from Daraa governorate. The new group is supposedly based in Izraa town in the northern Daraa countryside, only 39km east of the frontline with Israel in the Golan Heights.
If al-Arabiya claims are true, the position of the new Iranian-backed armed force violates the Russia-American ceasefire agreement that was reached in Hamburg on July 9. Several media outlets claim that according to the agreement Iranian-backed forces are not allowed within 35km from the frontline with Israel. However, this condition was never confirmed by any official source.
South Front contacted several SAA officers and soldiers in Daraa governorate to verify al-Arabiya’s claims. They all denied that such Iranian-backed armed group was established in Izraa town. The officers and soldiers told South Front that the National Defense Forces (NDF) are the only force beside the SAA in Daraa now.
South Front couldn’t also find any accounts that’s linked to the supposedly newly founded 313 Brigade on any social media website. However, after a quick search we found out that the Saudi state news TV channel was the first to claim that Iran founded such group named “313 Brigade” on November 7.
This raises a serious question about the credibility of al-Arabiya’s report. The Saudi-owned TV channel didn’t mention its sources and it’s obvious that Saudi media outlets are now involved in a media war against Iran.
— قناة الإخبارية (@alekhbariyatv) November 7, 2017