|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|
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.