Representatives of armed opposition groups as well as civil and tribal bodies in the province of Deir Ezzor stressed that Iran is occupying Syria and has expansionist ambitions in the region.
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the FSA groups as well as civil and tribal bodies said that Iran is exploiting the “de-escalation zones” agreement and has deployed its militias to take control of Deir Ezzor province. They stressed that Iran is seeking to link Arab cities and capitals with Tehran to achieve its “expansionist ambitions” having deployed militias in the eastern Qalamoun area, the Syrian Desert, and on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The statement stressed the groups’ outright rejection of “the Iranian occupation” in all its forms, underscoring that the local FSA groups in Deir Ezzor and its tribes are the “sole and legitimate representative” of people of the province with the exclusive right to recapture the province from the ISIS extremist group.
The recent advances by the Iranian-backed militias towards Deir Ezzor “complicates the efforts to combat ISIS, threatens civil peace and risks undermining efforts to reach a political transition,” the statement added. Signatories called on the political, military, and civilian forces in Deir Ezzor to form a unified political and military leadership to defeat ISIS and thwart the Iranian plans in the province. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)