Iran is mainly targeting the poor segment of Sunni Muslims in getting them converted into Shiism. This has also been mentioned in a report of the Syrian Observatory, where it said:
Converting to Shiism was not limited to the areas that were beyond regime’s control and which the Iranian militias helped in restoring them to Assad’s grip, but it also spread in the capital Damascus itself, for example, the most prominent activity of the Hussainiyas and Shiites in the capital is concentrated in Zain al-Abdeen neighborhood which overlooks Damascus, and it is considered one of the oldest of the 3 main areas of the Shiite community of Damascus people, and it has a Hussainiya for its followers, and according to sources of the Syrian Observatory: the neighborhoods of al-Amin and al-Jura which is now called the neighborhood of “Jaafar al-Sadiq” near the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus; there are Hussainiyas for Shiite people of Damascus, in addition to the presence of Shiites of non-Syrian nationalities who came to Syria for the purpose of fighting in the ranks of regime, and in the Damascus neighborhood of al-Amara; tens of Shiite families live and the Sunni mosque next to al-Sayyidah Ruqayya Shrine has been seized and converted into a Shiite Hussainiyah in the recent years.
As for Sayyidah Zainab area south of the capital Damascus which is about 15 kilometers southeast of the capital, there are hundreds of thousands of visitors who annually come to the tomb of Zainab Bint Ali god bless him, the area also is witnessing a great population growth because a large number of Shiite visitors settle there, also because a large number of the Iraqi Shiite visitors come to it.
Sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that Syrian and non-Syrian Shiite delegations visit periodically and continuously the primary schools, especially in the areas that fell under control of the opposition factions during the revolution years, where entertaining courses are conducted for students and gifts are distribute to them; with the aim of spreading the Shiite doctrine, while the south of the capital area -according to sources of the Syrian Observatory– is witnessing the sale of real estate by the original owners to people belong to the Shiite militias in Syria, where the purchases are mainly concentrated in Hajira town south of the capital, which was taken over by the Shiite militias on the 2nd of November 2013, and according to reliable information obtained by the Syrian Observatory: people from Kafriya and al-Fu’aa areas most of whom belong to the Iranian-backed Shiite militias, are taking advantage of the decision that prevents residents of Hajira from returning; in order to buy their homes under threat of seizing houses, especially those which belong to opposition fighters and their families who were forcibly displaced to the Syrian north, and sources of the Syrian Observatory pointed out that the sales are not limited to local Shiite militias, but also include foreign Shiites of Iranians, Iraqis, and Afghanis, who wish to liver in the vicinity of Sayyidah Zeinab, which is considered one of the most prominent and largest Shiite-populated areas in the capita.
Iran’s imposition of converting to Shi’ism in Damascus has begun to bear fruit according to reliable sources for the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, wherein the recent period it is noted that some poor Sunni families are affected by the Shiism phenomenon, especially with the provision of financial inducements, advantages, and grants to attract them to the Shiite sect by the Shiism spreading offices which are spread within Sayyidah Zainab area, where these offices provide financial and food assistance to anyone wishes to convert to Shiism, but despite all these efforts, the original families of the capital have not been affected, while the families which came from far countryside areas have been affected by this phenomenon, due to the poverty they suffer and their need for what Iran id providing to spread its Shi’ite ideology.