HOMS: the Standoff between Russia and Iran

Despite the mutual interest and coordination of Russian-Iranian joint action to support the Assad regime, competition between countries for influence in Syria comes out on top. And the biggest loser in this confrontation, in any case will be the Bashar al-Assad, the impact of which will inevitably be divided between Russia and Iran.

This opposition is clearly manifested in HOMS, where each party seeks to establish their exclusive domination. HOMS is one of the major Syrian cities, with advantageous geographical position, allowing to gain a foothold in the province and across the country.

Given the importance of this territory, competition for control over the security structures is becoming an important part of the confrontation between Russia and Iran in HOMS.

The growing role of Iran

In this regard, the information Agency “Surya” according received from an anonymous source in the high command of the Syrian army the information that Moscow had a desire to break off relations with a number of power units proasadovskogo camp, including units of the National defence forces, supported by Iran. The reason is Russia’s intention to hinder the growing role of Iran in the province of HOMS, especially in the Northern suburbs of the administrative centre.

On the pages of regime-friendly Newspapers in the beginning of the month there were messages that head of the state security service (in the city of HOMS — approx. lane) was filmed Accab Abbas, and appointed in his place, Ibrahim Darwish, previously held the same post in the city of Hama. According to the same “Surya no” Accab Abbas, as a member of the security Committee in HOMS, played an important role in defending the interests of Iran and establishing Iranian control over the territory.

The Committee brings together key institutions for ensuring military and political security, and coordinates their activities in the region. Accab Abbas when it is known that headed the paramilitary troops of the “National defence force” before the end of September 2015 beginning of the Russian operation in Syria.

The Interests Of Russia

After the start of operations in Syria, Moscow has created a Centre of reconciliation, located on the basis of Hamim in the suburbs of Latakia. According to several sources, Russia has taken the military security in HOMS, and also in areas under control of opposition forces, excluding from this process loyal to Iran militias.

At the same time, Moscow has blocked the channels of financing of these groups from Iran. Also, Russia has consistently obstructed any initiatives on reconciliation outside of the control Center in Hamima: this is confirmed by one of the members of the delegation from the opposition, who met with security authorities of the Syrian village of Gavulic in the North of HOMS. In the Russian media, these actions were seen as an important step towards a truce.

The opposition added that, according to the officer one of the Syrian secret services associated with the army, “the Russians have their fingers on the pulse and directly controlled by government security agencies during the negotiations with the opposition, personally participating in all the meetings.”

Also, he was asked about the role of National defence forces. He replied that “they will not remain in their positions and will be deployed in the Eastern suburbs of HOMS, in contrast to the government’s security forces.

Talks in El-Vaer

Russian-Iranian confrontation can also be found in talks held in El-Vaer (Western suburbs of HOMS, approx. TRANS.).

According to the activist Ammar al-homsi, who commented the situation in the city during the truce for “Surya no” National defense forces using the force of arms imposed a ban on the passage of vehicles in areas under their control and regularly carried out willfully selective arrests of civilians.

He also added that after his appointment as head of the state security Service in HOMS, Ibrahim dervish, a meeting was held between representatives of the district of al-waer and representatives of the regime in the presence of three Russian officers, including the head of the reconciliation Centre in HOMS, which is under the Center Mamimi.

The activist also drew attention to the fact that the mission of Russia in the fulfillment of undertaken in the framework of the negotiations of the commitments and the maintenance of the ceasefire has become easier following the resignation of the Pro-Iranian head of the Service.

Who is Ibrahim dervish?

The officer who took control of the state security Service in HOMS, led to this same unit in Hama. It appears that Russia chose him because of his hatred of the “National defence forces” loyal to Iran.

It is noted that in the middle of last year there were armed clashes between security authorities and troops of the National defence force, headed by Sheikh Ali Khayrallah. The latter is constantly visited Iran since the revolution in Syria.

Clashes between Pro-Iranian militias and Ibrahim Dervishes repeated again and again — now and in the occupied by the opposition districts of HOMS.

The obvious confrontation

The standoff between Russia and Iran openly discussed in social networks on the pages of the supporters of the Syrian regime, including in the community “Young people of HOMS”, which unites tens of thousands of people, and other pages associated with the National defense forces.

They write that further delay of confrontation will have a negative impact on what is happening in HOMS.

During the final battle for the Palmyra, the Eastern suburbs of HOMS and oil fields located in the region, in the pages of ISIS supporters on social networks it was reported that “Russian first came out of the battle and did not carry out air support remaining on the positions of the units of “National defense forces” and army units”.

These actions (or inaction) was initiated by the state security forces in HOMS who are on the side of Russia, against the “National defense forces” in order to reduce their role and the role of Iran in the province. Perhaps this is connected with the emergence of new paramilitary structures — volunteer “the Fifth assault corps.” The main goal is to reduce Iran’s influence on the National defence forces and subordinate them to the corps, the security service and the army regime, and that means Russia.