Syrian men from the ages of 18 to 42 are living in a state of continuous fear and worry in areas under the control of Assad regime forces. At any moment they could be detained and arrested at fixed military checkpoints or the temporary ones known as “flying checkpoints.”
These checkpoints are in possession of a list of 350,000 names of Syrians wanted for the regime army. Immediately after arrest, they will be sent to a military unit for reserve service, according to the Facebook page, “News on Reserve Calls and Dismissals From the Conscription Unit,” which continuously publishes the latest developments with regard to the reserve lists and military notifications.
On Monday, the page said that the police bulletins were issued for those called for reserve service, adding that the lists, “included all the names that were called up in the first reserve call after the amnesty, and the number was close to 350,000 names, which will be circulated to the checkpoints and all security branches. Those concerned will be arrested and taken directly from any fixed or flying checkpoints.”
The page, which has previously published news later proven to be true, said that some of those wanted have not yet been informed that they are required to join Assad’s army, adding that this “will put them in the dilemma of being arrested and taken directly from the checkpoints without any of them having been informed beforehand.”
The same source said that the issuance of these lists was a “violation of military law, as those who have not done reserve service are not considered to be in violation until the conscription deadline has passed. Over the past few years, the deadline has been set at one month following the call for reserves.”
On Monday, an image widely circulated on social media, created shock among Syrians, as it showed a number of young men, who had been arrested and were being loaded into a prison vehicle. Members of Assad’s forces stood before them to lead their movements, while a number of residents, thought to be families of these men, stood by and watched.
Syrians said that the young men were arrested in the Nazlet al-Eskan areas in al-Mezzeh in central Damascus at one of the “flying checkpoints” with the aim of sending them to military service.
Hundreds of thousands of young Syrian men have left the country since 2011 to avoid fighting in Assad’s ranks. The regime has recently resorted to conscripting a large number of Syrians who ended their military service before 2011, and has retained a large number of them, while they also depend on foreign militias.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.