The Defense Ministry in the Bashar al-Assad regime has issued new lists including the names of about 15,000 people wanted for service in the regime army, while Assad forces have stepped up their deployment of “flying checkpoints” in an attempt to stop the largest number of people.
The pro-regime “Reserve Calls and Demobilization News from the Conscription Directorate” Facebook page said that the Ministry had at the beginning of the week issued lists including 10,000 to 15,000 names of various ages and from various regions, adding that it would begin informing those charged with reserve service within two days with the period for joining not to exceed 15 days.
These new lists come after the Defense Ministry issued instructions to the Interior Ministry at the start of the year asking it to step up its pursuit of those who have avoided compulsory and reserve service. According to the same source, the Ministry has expressed its desire to “speed up the procedures of transferring those who have avoided service and been detained to the relevant centers.”
Young men are usually detained for between seven and 15 days and are put in the Military Police prison, and then after a week to a month in the al-Balouna or al-Qaboun prison, they are transferred to the centers (al-Dreij, al-Banak, Hananou).
The page, which has previously published reports later confirmed to be true, said that the Interior Ministry had increased its unfixed, or “flying”, checkpoints in a number of locations, to “catch young Syrian men wanted for service by surprize.”
In the same context, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that the regime had issued lists including 15,000 names of people wanted for reserve service in Damascus and its countryside, quoting its sources as saying that, “a circular arrived with the issuance of these lists requiring the person wanted for reserve service to turn himself in within 15 days of notification.”
The Observatory also said that the Military Police had increased its patrols in Damascus to search for those wanted during the intensified search and that, “while carrying out these patrols it stops pedestrians arbitrarily to carry out a security inspection and compare the names with those wanted for service.” It added that, “Daily arrests are occurring in the two governorates for at least 25 people from various districts of the city.”
Hundreds of thousands of young Syrian men have left the country since 2011 to avoid fighting in the regime’s ranks. The regime has resorted to recruiting a large number of Syrians who ended their service before 2011.
The lack of manpower in the Assad forces ranks has pushed the regime to depend in a large part on foreign militias, which Iran plays a central role in bringing to Syria to bolster its forces in regaining the areas it has lost.
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.