Bashar al-Assad has directed calls for the reserve military to serve in the province of Lattakia. These recruitment calls included a large number of people from Syrian areas that signed agreements of reconciliation. The requests coincided with a large media campaigns that demands demobilization.
Special information was handed to Zaman al-Wasl by a member of staff in the second Lattakia Recruitment Division, in which he confirmed the arrival of lists, with more than 50,000 names of citizens from different regions of Syria. They were invited to join the Assad forces for reserve military service. The tables are signed by the Defense Minister as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
The official confirmed that several thousand of the recruited citizens from the province are under the age of 45, and have not previously enrolled. A large number of them, however, were previously invited, but did not answer the call; they were luckily included in the final exemption decision.
According to the source, another list arrived including the names of more than four thousand young people from the province of Lattakia, who will perform compulsory military service.
A large numbers of tweets and blogs have been published on social media sites regarding this.
One user, Joshua Atiq, wrote on the Tartus news page, “Today we received a new notification of reserve and advocacy by the recruitment division,” adding, “I have been part of the reserve forces for 6 years, and today they contacted my brother, who was called to join the forces before, but he was exempted and now they have called for him once again.”
The Alawite-dominated areas are still the main manpower supply for the Assad’s regime.
More than 125,000 pro-regime forces have been killed in seven years of brutal war, according to local monitoring groups.
The source in the recruitment division asserted that there are several names from the areas of Rastan and Talbisseh in the countryside of northern Homs and Daraa and the countryside of Damascus.
An officer in the Lattakia region pointed out in an exclusive interview with Zaman al-Wasl that the regime wants to strengthen its forces and that in order to do so, it compels the inhabitants of the areas that have signed reconciliation agreements, to drive its youth into the army. Otherwise, they will have to face the inevitable fate of dying in prisons. Most of them are wanted by the intelligence agencies and their criminal charges are already set.
The calls for the recruitment into Assad’s forces coincided with demands for demobilization by senior military personnel, a group of journalists are working on it under full military supervision. Zaman Al Wasl has been the only newspaper that succeeded to cover the details.
These lists brought terror into the souls of Lattakia’s youth and its pro-Assad countryside. Many of them have returned to their lives in remote villages in the high mountains of Qardahah, Hafah and Jibla, where they used to go in order to escape military service.
The Qardaha, Sallanfa and Ain Sharqiya are all places where a large number of armed men flee from compulsory and reserve service.
The retired officer Abou Haidar confirmed to Zaman al-Wasl the presence of large numbers of young people from the province and the western countryside of the province of Hama who live in the mountains, sleeping in the open or in abandoned homes, carrying arms and engaging in armed robberies to secure their expenses, and he also confirmed that these elements deal with the police to ensure their life requirements.
“The police authorities ignore them, because they do not want to open side battles, and in order to hide from the public their disagreements with those who consider themselves to be loyal to the regime,” he added.
The adjunct believes that the situation is now different, and that they must either be subjugated to the army or completely eliminated. The regime fears the continuation of their rebellion; and being from the province, means they have relatives and a popular force standing by them. This may provoke great strife among the loyal sect, which the regime still needs to assert its authority.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.