Syria sending 40,000 fighters to help Russians attack Ukraine

Already, more than 40,000 Syrians have reportedly registered to fight alongside Russia, which is said to be offering hundreds of U.S. dollars a month to volunteers.

By World Israel News Staff

Syria has committed to sending tens of thousands of mercenaries to join the Russian war on Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

Doubling down on the invasion in Ukraine, Putin gave the green light earlier this month for up to 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East to join the Russians, Reuters reported at the time. That number appears to have reached over 40,000.

Evidence of recruitment among Syrian fighters, particularly in government-controlled territories, began to emerge earlier this month.

“We find that noteworthy that [Russian President Vladimir Putin] believes that he needs to rely on foreign fighters to supplement what is a very significant commitment of combat power inside Ukraine as it is,” said a U.S. Department of Defense official quoted by Newsweek.

“These additional forces are going to be positioned to respond to the current security environment in light of Russia’s renewed aggression against Ukraine and to reinforce deterrence and defensive capabilities of NATO, particularly the eastern flank, and we’re going to adjust the posture as conditions evolve,” the official said, Newsweek reported last week.

Omar Abu Layla, a Europe-based activist who runs the DeirEzzor 24 Syria war monitoring group, said over a week ago that recruitment run by the Wagner Group had been going on for days in the eastern province Deir el-Zour near the border with Iraq.

Abu Layla said the response has been significant and that Russia was offering volunteers between $200 and $300 to operate as security guards in Ukraine for six months at a time. Other reports put the amount at $300-$600.

“More than 40,000 Syrians have registered to fight alongside Russia in Ukraine so far,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

AP contributed to this report.