Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Syria

Syrian Army manpower sapped by draft dodgers and deserters

By Rudaw 24/7/2016
The Syrian Army, depleted from draft dodgers and deserters, is increasingly reliant on pro-regime militias. Photo: AP
The Syrian Army, depleted from draft dodgers and deserters, is increasingly reliant on pro-regime militias. Photo: AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--Young Syrian men have been dodging the country’s draft and deserting the army to avoid fighting in the war which has destroyed their country over the course of the last five years. Many are seeking refuge in Syria’s neighbouring countries and Europe. 

Before the war started the army was estimated to number approximately 300,000 soldiers. Presently less than half that number makes up the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that approximately 80,000 Syrian soldiers have been killed in the war to date. Damascus does not release statistics on how many of its soldiers have been killed or wounded in combat. 

A Syrian military source told Reuters that desertion is not a big issue and that it is a “phenomenon found in all armies.” 

“For wartime, it’s a normal number,” the source claimed. 

Kheder Khaddour of the Carnegie Middle East Center believes the Syrian Army’s manpower has been drastically reduced over the course of this war. “If it was 300,000 in the army, now it’s less than half and probably less than that, that seems like a large number,” he said. 

Before the war 18-year old Syrian men were drafted for a two year stint in the military. Now many are drafted for longer than that as the war drags on. Syrians caught dodging the draft can be denied employment in the state sector and can face up to 15 years in prison. 

Alternatively more well off Syrians can pay an $8,000 fee to avoid mandatory service altogether. It is a price few young Syrians can afford. 

Given the reduction in the number of soldiers fighting in the SAA – through a combination of battlefield deaths, defections and desertions – the regime has been relying more heavily on pro-regime militias. 

Comments

 
bayir_bucak_turkmen | 24/7/2016
i think if Syria army lost 80k, other groups/rebels lost may be over 300k so far. but jihadist can recruit people from all around the world and keep war going. also jihadist present their fighter loss as a civilian casualty to show their death toll low. even so many pro-akp jihadist were neutralized in the war. before or during downing of Russia plane, Erdogan told "Russian airstrikes killed over 400 bayir bucak turkmen fighters and wounded over 1000 of them in just one week". .. Syrian army is shrinking but they also get manpower from iran and lubnan.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

The Observer | 1/16/2019 12:41:21 PM
It is the "Ottoman Slap" ,thatv Erdogan has threatends America with. This attack happens on the orders of Erdogan.He has threatened Trump and here...
DDT | 1/16/2019 12:58:16 PM
It is Erdogan who ordered the attack against the American soldier, he is telling the American to hurry up and leave immediately, otherwise you will...
Coalition targeted in Manbij explosion, fatalities reported: monitor
| 3 hours ago | (2)
guest2002 | 1/15/2019 4:07:52 PM
HTS hates Kurds just as much as jihadi Turks and their leader erDOGan . Before there was a PKK turks used any excuse to killkurds. Saddam did not...
Pete | 1/16/2019 11:07:39 AM
Like Turkey, al Qaeda wishes to butcher anyone who doesn't submit to its jihadi dictatorship, and to destroy the right of humans to plot their own...
PKK is ‘enemy’ of Syria revolution, says jihadist leader
| yesterday at 11:03 | (8)
Muraz Adzhoev | 1/15/2019 7:20:38 PM
Absolutely immoral and disgusting hypocrisy as it used to be and is there.
Renas | 1/16/2019 9:32:01 AM
A joke, "Iran is a reliable friend of Kurds". You are not reliable at all. You country is controlled by islamist terrorists and you see Kurds as a...
Kurdistan, Iran keen to see trade grow as Sulaimani hosts economic forum
| 21 hours ago | (3)
Anoop Suri | 1/16/2019 8:38:18 AM
Great Work Kavita, good to see a person of Indian Origin working on such a great cause
Learning knows no bounds for woman teaching English to Kurds
| yesterday at 11:47 | (1)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Assad must take control of northern Syria: Russian FM 5 hours ago |

Assad must take control of northern Syria: Russian FM

Russia intervened in the Syrian civil war in 2015 more
Fire destroys cabins in Erbil IDP camp, no casualties 7 hours ago |

Fire destroys cabins in Erbil IDP camp, no casualties

Fourteen shelters were destroyed more
0.562 seconds