Syrian fighters are recruited to be sent to Ukraine 

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war, news about the recruitment of Syrian fighters to go to Ukraine to take part in the fight for either side have been emerged.

On February 26, 2022, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for people around the world to join the fight against Russia, saying, “all citizens of the world, friends of Ukraine, peace and democracy, anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals.” 

Regarding the issue of the joining of the foreigners, especially Syrians, to the Russian-Ukrainian war, the Syrians for Truth and Justice organization (STJ) interviewed two sources from Rif Dimashq governorate and curbed doubt with certainty.

The first source was a fighter registered his name with the Syrian government’s security services to travel to Ukraine and fight alongside the Russian forces.

“I heard, by sheer coincidence, that names of those willing to fight in Ukraine are being registered. The registration was mediated by the reconciliation official in the area where I live,” the source who abstained from disclosing his name told the STJ.

“I approached the reconciliation official and asked him to help me register my name. He did. The man communicated with an assistant surgeon in the Air Force Intelligence Branch in Harasta city, Rif Dimashq,” he added.

The source pointed out that this process was done by a “Russian security company” and the priority is for the fighters who fought under Russian officers or within the ranks of the Division 25 of the Syrian government forces.

The second source, as the STJ reported, was an official in one of the local reconciliation committees in an area in Rif Dimashq who said:

“I was at the Air Force Intelligence Branch to help a number of wanted persons surrender themselves and obtain a pardon in return. There, one officer started talking in front me, saying that they will prepare lists with the names of fighters who have sufficient combat experience. These fighters will be subjected to a small-scale training by Russian officers in preparation for sending them to Russia and transporting them to fight in Ukraine with the Russian side.”

As for Turkey’s intention to send fighters to Ukraine similar to what it had previously done in Libya, fighters are already being registered to be sent to Ukraine, through initiatives led by some faction commanders or individuals, but not by the Turkish state itself, according to the STJ.

The STJ interviewed a first-class officer from one of the SNA factions where he refuted the allegations that the Turkish intelligence service had held extensive meetings with the SNA commanders regarding the deployment of fighters to Ukraine.

In an exclusive statement to North Press, the STJ CEO, Bassam al-Ahmad said, “Of course, members of the Turkish-backed factions in Syria are registering their names to partake the war in Ukraine, but the situation in Ukraine is different from that in Libya or Armenia, so that Turkey is still apprehensive.”

“Although they are called ‘National Army’, but those factions are mere mercenaries, so they are ready to go,” he added.

Reporting by Jwan Shkaki