Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps stepped up its recruitment efforts in the Syrian region of Deir Zour, according to residents in the area.

The location, which is a gateway for Iran’s Syria operations, has become a focal point for the IRGC, which has been expanding the regime’s presence in Deir Zour since 2017.

The recruitment centers, which target teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18, offer military training and religious education classes.

The IRGC has also integrated itself further into the region through humanitarian organizations and initiatives, including the donation of food, endeavors experts say are designed to gain the local population’s trust and loyalty.

A media outlet in Israel reported that an Iranian missile hit an Israeli-owned ship in the Arabian Sea on Thursday. The strike did not affect the ship’s ability to continue its journey, according to the report.

The incident, which has not yet been verified by Israel’s government, follows an explosion on board an Israeli ship in the Gulf of Oman. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of causing the blast. Iran denied the claim.

And the Iranian judge conducting detained dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s latest trial, did not hand down a verdict on March 21, which was the judgment date confirmed at the last hearing.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said the delay may have been down to the Norouz celebrations taking place in Iran over the weekend, as Iranians celebrated the New Year. Mr. Ratcliffe also said the verdict may not be handed down before April 4.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who served a five-year sentence in full after being charged with plotting to topple the Iranian government in 2016, was charged with an alleged new offence just hours after her release. The mother of one has always denied the charges against her, which are now widely believed to be linked to a historic debt the UK owes Iran.

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