Some Syrian paramilitary fighters say they are ready to deploy to Ukraine to fight in support of their ally Russia but have not yet received instructions to go, two of their commanders reported.

Nabil Abdallah, a commander in the paramilitary National Defense Forces (NDF), said he was ready to use expertise in urban combat gained during the Syrian war to aid Russia, speaking by phone from the Syrian town of Suqaylabiyah.

"Once we get instructions from the Syrian and Russian leadership, we will fight this righteous war," Abdallah said on March 14, four days after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a green light for 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East to deploy in Ukraine.