Tensions and clashes are escalating between proxy forces associated to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and “National Guard” units affiliated to the Assad regime. These incidents are being reported in the town of Al Bukamal in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border.
Proxy forces linked to the IRGC transiting with six vehicles were dispatched to the central square of Al Bukamal recently, pulling down the Syrian flag of the Assad regime, according to the Lebanese al-Madan outlet.
These provocative measures by the IRGC proxy units resulted in strong reactions from Assad “National Guard” units in the area, scene attempting to re-raise the Assad regime’s flag in the square. However, tensions began rising and locals are reporting a crossfire between the two previously considered allies. Reports indicate three individuals were killed and a number of others were wounded.
The Deir Ezzur 24 network confirmed these clashes in the Feehe district of Al Bukamal and even heavy weaponry was used by the two sides.
It is worth noting that Russian military police units stationed in a nearby mosque having full control over the entire area took no action to stop the clashes. Their position was merely 800 meters away from the clash site. Nearly 80 Russian military police members are stationed in that specific base.
Such tension in Al Bukamal has been escalating for weeks now, continuing to this day and escalating as we speak. It is worth noting that Assad-linked proxy forces recently killed a commander of an IRGC-linked proxy group in Al Bukamal, leaving his body in the streets.
Assad’s intelligence apparatus is also reportedly involved, concerned over the IRGC’s intentions of taking over the entire city of Al Bukamal. Iran is seeking to find ground routes from Iraq into Syria for their transfer of weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
There have also been reports of escalating tensions between Iran-backed proxy forces and similar units associated to Russia. The Aleppo International Airport witnessed clashes between the two sides recently.
Such development indicates an increasing pushback on Iran’s influence in Syria as crises engulf this regime across the board, both inside the country and abroad.