June 3, 2013
A Syrian opposition human rights organization claimed Monday that officers from the North Korean army are aiding Bashar Assad’s forces in their fight against the rebels in Aleppo. According to the organization, a few of Assad’s civilian militia fighters revealed the presence of the North Korean officers in the war zones.
The Syrian regime has been claiming for a long time that among the rebels fighting it across the country there are many fighters from oversees, sent by “Syria’s enemies” such as Saudi Arabia,Israel or the US. Assad no longer denies his army is aided by thousands of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, who are assisting the Syrian army to ward off the rebels.
However, reports regarding North Korean officers in the field are relatively rare. In an interview to Asharq Al-Awsat, director of a Syrian human rights center, Rami Abed A-Rachman, said that the number of North Korean officers in Syria is unknown, although there are definitely between 11 and 15 Arabic speaking North Korean officers in Aleppo.
Abed A-Rachman, whose organization releases daily reports on the fighting in Syria since the civil war broke out more than two years ago, said that “the North Korean officers are spread throughout many fronts, including the Syrian Defense Ministry factories southeast of Aleppo and in the regime’s forces centers in Aleppo.” He claimed that they do not take part in the actual fighting, yet provide the Assad army with logistic support and construct operational plans. “They also supervise the regime’s artillery in the region,” he said.