Syria: ‘retaliatory’ massacre after Soleimani killing

Syria shepherds

More than 20 shepherds were killed Jan. 4 in eastern Syria, with pro-opposition activists claiming that Iran-backed militias were responsible. The shepherds were slain in the Maadan area, on the border of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor provinces, and also near the line between territory held by the Assad regime and that held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The regime is being massively backed by Iranian forces, and Iran-backed militia units had established checkpoints along the border of the zones of control. The media-activist network Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently claimed the shepherds were shot and stabbed in retaliation for the US assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq a day┬áearlier. Damascus state media blamed the massacre on ISIS. Soleimani’s elite Quds Force intervened in Syria to prop up the Assad regime along with Russia in 2015. (EA Worldview)

Photo: EA Worldview