Syrian fighters who fought the Islamic State and insurgents are signing up to join the war in Ukraine as Putin seeks reinforcements for his forces. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the total number of reported sign-ups from Syria is around 40,000 fighters suiting up for the Russian military and the Wagner Group.

The governments of Russia and Syria have been in close cooperation since Moscow intervened in the Syrian civil war in 2015. The two have maintained good relations ever since Putin visited Syria in 2017. During his visit, Putin was quoted telling his Syrian counterpart that their cooperation “will lead to great successes in the future.”

Previously, SOFREP reported on Russia’s attempt to recruit Syrian fighters for $200 to $300 to operate as “guards” for a six-month period. Furthermore, SOFREP’s own Guy McCardle reported on a Facebook advertisement posted on a private group for soldiers of Syria’s Fourth Armored Division. The ad stated that soldiers were to be deployed to Ukraine for about $3,000.

Members of Syrian Brigadier-General Suheil Salman al-Hassan’s division (also known as the Tiger Force) are reportedly registering to join the Russian force in Ukraine. The division is one of the hundreds of Syrian combatants trained by Russia during its intervention. Other fighters were also reportedly former soldiers, rebels, and veterans who fought against ISIS in the Syrian desert for years.