Since the 1st of October 2015, foreign fighters have made up an increasing presence on the pro-government side of the battlefields in Syria.
Now, a new report suggests that 280 mostly Shiite militants from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan have been killed in Syria in the past 7 months while fighting alongside the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
These fighters have spearheaded government offensives in southern Aleppo and northern Aleppo in the past months, thus explaining their large death toll.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Opposition accuses the Syrian Government of using these foreign fighters as mere cannon fodder to compensate for reduced Syrian manpower. Nevertheless, the northern Aleppo offensive resulted in lifting the rebel-imposed siege on Nubl and al-Zahraa while the southern Aleppo offensive looked to reach the predominately Shiite towns of Kafraya and Fuah which make up a small government enclave in Idlib.
Meanwhile, the ISIS siege on Kuweiris Airbase was broken almost exclusively by Syrian troops and the recent liberation of Palmyra was spearheaded by elite Syrian Arab Army elements such as the Tiger Forces, Desert Hawks Brigade and Syrian Marines. However, foreign fighters now seem more present than ever before as jihadist groups of the Syrian Opposition have also recruited many fighters to their ranks from Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Turkey, Libya, Pakistan and Bosnia.