ALEPPO, Syria (North Press) - Recently, smuggling of militants, weapons, and military equipment has spread between areas controlled by the Syrian government in the northern countryside of Aleppo and areas controlled by Turkish-backed armed opposition groups in northern Syria.
A government security source told North Press that government forces are launching a wide security and military campaign soon with the aim of closing all smuggling routes in the towns of Nubul and Zahraa, north of Aleppo.
The same source said that the presence of Iranian militias and their military deployment was the reason for the escalation of security chaos in the region and that it has beeb slacking on the task of maintaining security.
Abu Ali Noah, a leader of the Iranian-led "Local Defense Forces" in northern Aleppo countryside, said that smuggling gangs have proliferated between these areas in the recent period, and are formed by lawless people from the region.
Noah held the Syrian government responsible for the chaos which led to the emergence of these groups in the region.
The population of the Shi'ite-majority Nubul and Zahra is about 40 thousand people. In February 2016 government forces managed to break the siege on the two towns, but the issue of security chaos continues to affect the lives of the residents.
"We cannot interfere in security affairs because this is the task of the security forces," Noah added.
He pointed out that their forces, as well as the outlawed smuggling groups, are formed by the people of the two towns and that any interference on their part will lead to the creation of family and tribal strife.
Residents believe that it is the duty of government forces to end to this security chaos as well as to initiate extensive security operations to close smuggling routes in front of these groups and arrest those wanted.
Abdel Salam Baloua, a lawyer from the town of Nubul, said that “the smuggling of weapons and militants that takes place on rough roads west of Nubul and reaches the towns of Brad and Kimar, which are controlled by Turkish-backed armed opposition groups, has increased recently.”
“These groups open roads in these areas to young men who want to go to fight in Libya against the forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, by smuggling them through Nubul and Zahra to the Afrin region by an agreement between these groups and Turkish intelligence," Baloua added.
“Turkey and its armed groups are the most prominent beneficiaries of the continuing chaos and lawlessness in Nubul and Zahra, as the security situation in these two towns is heading for the worse, and the intervention of government forces has become urgent to enforce the law and arrest the outlaws," he added.