Iraqi militia along with Hezbollah fighters bring the most operational experience to the battlefields of Syria. The Kuwaiti Shia, perhaps a third of their country’s population do what they do best, send money. One Kuwaiti Arabic you tube video shows Shia Kuwaitis raucously saluting themselves as they prepare to dispatch 23 million dinar to the Shia cause in Syria. Officially, Kuwait’s policy is close to that of its neighbor Saudi Arabia , decidedly anti-Assad. However, the country’s Shia are well-organized, wealthy, and militant, at least in a political sense. They are descendants from the Barharma who were a sea-faring Shi’a people who emigrated from Iran about three centuries ago. Others cam from Iran in the 1920s.

The greatest number of foreign Shi’a volunteers to join Iranian troops in Syria are from Iraq’ Most of these recruits have some combat experience from their membership among the Shi’a militia in Iraq. There are several pro-Iranian militias in Iraq that are contributing most of the Iraqi volunteers in support of Syria’s Assad. The most are probably from the Abu al-Fadl Brigade.  

Others which are dispatching many fighters to Syrian front are the Asaib Ahl al-Haq Force, the Badr Corps, and the Kataib Hezbollah Group.  The Asaib have good relations with the IRGC. Religiously, Asaib volunteers follow as their Marja (spiritual guide) the sometimes, but not always, pro-Iranian cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The Badr volunteers are have warm ties with the IRGC Special Forces (Qods Force) Commander Qaseem Suleimani. Prominent member of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Ameri is especially close to Suleimani. The main point of contact between the Kataib Hezbollah and Iran’s advisors in Syria is Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes.