Iraqi Shiite Commander In Syria: Russia has the sky and we are on the ground

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Monday, 19 October 2015

The head of recruitment for an Iraqi Shiite militia fighting in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime said Russia’s intervention in the country’s war has “changed the situation for the better.”

In an exclusive interview with Vocativ this week, Fadel al-Fartousi of Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (HHN) — or the “Hezbollah Movement of the Outstanding” — said Russians have “liberated areas speedily” from the Islamic State and from Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra.

“The Russian Air Force is dealing great with the situation, in contrary to the coalition,” he said, referring to the U.S.-led coalition that is also battling ISIS militants.

Al-Fartousi corroborated reports that HHN has coordinated with Russia in Syria to strengthen al-Assad. “Russia has the sky and we are on the ground,” he told Vocativ.

Al-Fartousi said HHN is also fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda militants in Iraq, and that the group was in the Syrian city of Latakia, although he declined to specify when.

He also said that his militia is not directed by Iranian commanders, although he was clear that the group helps Iran. “The leadership is totally Iraqi and the soldiers are Iraqi,” he said. “We liberated areas in Iraq and it is the same enemy in Syria, one enemy.”

The enemy in his eyes is also the U.S.: “My message to America is that it was built on the destruction of other nations, and its hegemony will not last,” he added.

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