Sariyya al-Tali'a al-Khurasani (The Vanguards of Khurasani Unit) (Syria)

Country: Syria
Details of Formation: The group was first announced on 24 September 2013 on Facebook. The group’s first page was made “private” and a mirror page was created, providing similar information. The mirror page first formally announced the group’s creation on 8 October 2013 on Facebook. It is unclear when the group was formed and whether the announcement and the creation date coincide.
Details of Termination: --
Purpose: Similarly to other Shia militias in Syria, the STK defends the Sayyida Zaynab shrine and promotes general pro-Iranian pan-Shia narratives. They fight against insurgents.
Organisation: The group’s commander is Ali al-Yasiri, who is possibly linked to Sayyid Muhammed Jawad al-Madrasi, a Shia cleric.
Weapons and Training: The STK uses Kalashnikov-type rifles, SVD-type sniper rifles, RPG-7s and PKM-type machine guns, as well as light mortars.
Size: The exact number of STK fighters is unknown. Their photographs indicate that the group has over twenty members.
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: --
Other Information: The sources do not explicitly mention a direct link to the Syrian regime. The group is coded as PGM due to the similarities with other Iranian-backed Iraqi militias operating in Syria, which are reportedly pro-Assad. The Sariyya al-Tali'a al-Khurasani (STK) promotes Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, adhere to his ideology and swear him loyalty.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD