Pro-Assad female soldiers. File photo
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Damascus, Syria – The Syrian regime is in the process of dismantling its major militias that have been backing it in fighting the armed opposition and Islamic battalions deployed across the country, Syrian opposition sources said on Monday.
The Syrian regime has faced waves of defections among the units of the regular army along with the influx of young people evading military service.
Thousands of casualties have been reported in the ranks of the Syrian regime army during the 3 ½-year-long war.
The regime transformed what was known as “Popular Committees” into an organized body called the “National Defense Army” (NDA), where its leaders and members underwent training camps in Iran, which in turn provided unprecedented funding to them.
Sources in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) estimated the number of the National Defense’s members with more than 60 thousand fighters, including females. These militias were engaged in battles supporting the pro-Assad army against the opposition, especially near the capital Damascus, as well as in northwestern part of the country.
The Syrian Ministry of Defense has decided to dissolve these forces and transfer its members to temporary contracts with the Ministry for a minimum period of two years and ten at maximum, with civilian and military missions according to the specialization.
On the other hand, media activists told ARA News that at least five people were killed on Monday by torture in the prisons of the Syrian regime, one of them was from the city of Hama and the rest were from Morik in the northern countryside of the city.
Activist Saeed Sharbaji reported an explosion in the area linking al-Masasna and Zor al-Hisa checkpoints in Hama suburb as the Islamic battalions targeted a military convoy loyal to the Assad regime.
Reporting by: Mohammed Darwish
Source: ARA News