Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades (Master of Martyrs) (Syria)

Country: Syria
Details of Formation: The group emerged first in April 2013 when it split from the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades. In May it held funerals for fallen fighters, which announced the group’s existence to the public. Following the funerals, little was heard of the group until in August the group started to be more active in online propaganda. One news source suggests that Iran was involved in creating the Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades.
Details of Termination: --
Purpose: The main purpose of the group is to protect the Sayyidah Zaynab Shrine near Damascus.
Organisation: The Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades are led by Abu-Mustafa al-Shaybani´(also known as Hamid al-Sheibani) who is an Iraqi Shiite who has worked under the Quds Force since the late 1980s (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 2013). The group is financed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It is possible that the KSS and the Badr Organization have a close relationship. In Syria, the KSS takes part in the Liwa’a Abu Fadl al-Abbas (LAFA) (Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium).
Weapons and Training: --
Size: In 2013, the group’s information office claimed to have sent 500 members to Syria. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (2013) estimates that the group has 200 fighters.
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: --
Other Information: The sources do not explicitly mention a direct link to the Syrian regime. The group was coded as PGM due to the similarities with other Iranian-backed Iraqi militias operating in Syria, which are reportedly pro-Assad. The group is originally based in Basra. It is also known as Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS), Sayyid’s Martyrs and Kata’ib Abu Fadl al-Abbas (Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium)
References: Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. 2019. “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS)“.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 2013. “Iran's Foreign Legion: The Role of Iraqi Shiite Militias in Syria.” Policywatch 2096. June 27.

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD