“It barely goes unnoticed”
The first extremist foreign militias to emerge in Syria were’t Daesh or An-Nussra Front where months before their emergence, non-Arabic fighters appeared in Syria. Also, at the end of 2011, rebels arrested fighters from Al-Mahdi Army which is affiliated to the Iraqi-Shitte leader Muqtada As-Sadr as reports surfaced about him recruiting and sending soldiers to Syria despite that fact that he denied openly his involvement in the Syrian conflict until recently. The most notable development regarding the Shiite involvement in the Syrian conflict was in the summer of 2012 when Liwa Abdulfadl Al-Abbas emerged and many Shiite leaders called for Shiites to come and protect the Shiite shrines in general and As-Sayda Zainab shrine in particular which was in conjunction with a huge amassing propaganda that was adopted by various media institutions including newspapers, TV channels, and social websites.
Shiite fighters kept flowing into Syria to fight for Liwa Abdulfadl Al-Abbas. Hezbollah entered the conflict openly in April 2013 in Al-Qusair and its suburbs which was a major development with respect to the nature of the Shiite regional forces that support the regime. Over the next months, Shitte groups affiliated to Iraqi factions emerged openly which was a noticeable change for most of the political and military Shiite-Iraqi forces even for the Iraqi government which facilitated the flowing of fighters into Syria in addition to some evidences that suggested that the Iraqi government itself is involved.