Young people from the city of Suweida have rejected a Syrian regime proposal regarding them performing military service with the First Corps, which is deployed in the south of the country.
On Tuesday, Enab Baladi’s correspondent in Suweida, which is in southern Syria, reported that a large portion of young men had rejected the regime’s proposal and demanded to serve inside the province.
Last Saturday, a security delegation visited Suweida, headed by Brigadier General Bassam al-Arid, from Assad’s forces, who met with notables from the province and proposed to them that those who had evaded reserve service and a portion of those who had evaded compulsory service, who were over 35 years old, serve in the First Corps if they join.
However the rest of those wanted for compulsory service would have to consult the Conscription Directorate, as had been the case before the war.
The correspondent said that a large portion of the young people rejected the proposal, and called for a campaign, “I support the right of conscientious objection,” to confront forcible conscription.
According to the correspondent, the campaign aims to raise awareness among young people of the possibility of rejecting the performance of military service for moral reasons”.
A conscientious objector is defined as a person who does not want to perform military service in order to satisfy his conscience or to reject the logic of forcing military service, and became prominent during the First World War, when thousands of young British men refused to participate in the war.
In 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council published a report titled “Conscientious Objection to Military Service.”
According to what Enab Baladi observed on social media, young men who have not performed service are demanding that they serve inside the city.
Others want guarantees about where the regime will send them, so as not to be sent to fronts in other provinces.
The Suweida 24 News Network carried out a poll of young people’s views, which said that 59 percent rejected the regime’s proposals around military service.
Suwedia province contains more than 40,000 people who have not performed military service, both reserve and compulsory, although these are unofficial numbers.
The regime and its Russian ally, which dominates the city, are trying, after previous rejections, to send residents to join military operations.
This comes days after a presidential decree to give amnesty to those who have fled military service within Syria and abroad, within a deadline of four months for those who fled within the country.
At the end of September, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, issued a circular to fire 185 teachers in various Syrian provinces because they had failed to perform reserve service, with Suweida province having the highest share, with 67 teachers.
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.