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Free Syrian Army supports Ahwazi struggle

Riad Al-Assad pledges support to Ahwazis

The Free Syria Army has voiced its support for the Ahwazi Arab struggle for independence against the Iranian regime.

FSA commander Riad al-Assad, former colonel of the Syrian Airforce, called for the withdrawal of Persian occupation forces in Al-Ahwaz in a letter to Lebanese Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrullah. The FSA has previously shown its solidarity with the Ahwazi cause by naming its armed Dere'a Al-Jazeera contingent in Al-Mayadin the Al-Ahwaz Battalion.

There have been top-level discussions between the leaders of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Al-Ahwaz (ASMLA) and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. In September last year, ASMLA leaders met with Brotherhood Comptroller General Mohammad Riad al-Shaqfeh in Syria. Both groups accused Iran of sowing sectarian strife in the Arab world and acting like a colonial power. ASMLA described its formal contacts with the Brotherhood as a "quantum leap in strengthening the relationship between the Ahwazi and Syrian revolutions" that would enable them to "work together to overthrow the existing alliance of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the Iranian regime, which continue to spill the blood of Arabs in Syria and Ahwaz."

The Al-Ahwaz Battalion in Syria
A regional conflagration of Arab guerrilla forces fighting Iran is spreading inside Iranian borders with the resumption of operations by ASMLA's military wing, the Brigades of the Martyr Mohieldain al-Naser, which this week blew up a major gas pipeline feeding the petrochemicals industry.

The growing solidarity was inevitable after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Shia proxy Hezbollah intervened directly in Syria in support of the Al-Assad dictatorship. Meanwhile, there is angry opposition among Iraq's Sunni Arab population towards the pro-Iranian Shia-led government in Baghdad.

In February, one of Iran's leading preachers has called Syria the country's "35th strategic province" and said it has a higher priority than Khuzestan, the formerly autonomous oil-rich Ahwazi Arab-majority province in the southwest.