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Iran-Backed Fighters Claim They Were Deployed Against Protesters In November

Members of Afghan militia, Fatemiyoun who have fought in Syria, at Soleimani's funeral in Tehran. January 6, 2020.

A website claiming to represent the Defenders of the Shrine who fight in Syria on Iran’s behalf has published an article complaining that its members were ordered to confront protesters on the streets of Iranian cities last November.

Hundreds were killed, thousands more injured and detained during the deadliest protests against the clergy-dominated government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Defenders of the Shrines (DoS) are Iranian, Afghan and Pakistani Shi'ite fighters under Iranian command who are assigned to fight in Iraq and Syria against ISIS and other groups that Tehran calls as "takfiris," or infidels.

However, in a passionate article, the website of the Voice of the Defenders of the Shrines has revealed that its members were used to quell widespread anti-regime demonstrations that shook 29 out of 31 provinces of Iran for four days.

There is no definite proof the website in fact belongs to fighters who have served in Syria, but so far no one has denied the claim that it represents the Defenders of the Shrine.

Lambasting President Hassan Rouhani's administration, the article has lamented that once again the government deployed the Defenders of the Shrines on the front line to fight its own people, without bearing the responsibility.

"As we witnessed last November, economic protests led to violence, and many of the Defenders of the Shrines were forced to step in," the article says. Furthermore, the article claims that "several defenders," including Morteza Ebrahimi", lost their lives in the bloody clashes.

"Once again, the Defenders of the Shrines were sacrificed, but government officials shunned responsibility," the article notes.

Meanwhile, the passionate denunciation has blasted President Rouhani and his cabinet for mismanagement, depriving the relatives of the "martyred" Defenders of compensation, and denying the fighters income and bonuses.

The government should pay attention to the condition of the Defenders in an impartial way; the article has insisted, adding, President Rouhani's administration should avoid the manner it used in investigating the downing of the Ukraine International Airlines on January 8, that killed all 176 onboard.

Rouhani's administration or the Islamic revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), which manages fighters in Syria, have not yet responded to the article.

According to Reuters, the Islamic Republic security forces backed by Special Units, the IRGC, and plainclothesmen killed up to 1500 protesters during the four-day mid-November uprising.

The rallies, triggered by an overnight three-fold increase in gasoline prices, soon turned into widespread anti-Islamic establishment protests in more than a hundred cities across Iran.