Syrian army soldiers. File photo
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Urfa, Turkey – Subsequent to four years of fighting with the armed opposition forces, a large number of soldiers in the Syrian regime army are suffering physical, psychological, and mental disabilities, and their lives have turned to “hell”, according to family members.
Speaking to ARA News, Abu Mahmoud, father of a soldier in the ranks of the regime’s army, said: “There have been cases in the regime’s army of conscripts suffering physical and mental disability, and my son was among those who currently suffer psychological issues.”
“The army refused to give my son a direct discharge from the military service despite his status, arguing that there are procedures that must be taken,” he added.
Abu Mahmoud added that his son and many other soldiers in the ranks of the Syrian army suffer trauma due to the continuous participation in military operations.
Abu Wisam, father of two members of pro-Assad army, said that the war conditions have turned many Syrian youth into “mere criminals”.
“As brutality has spread across the war-torn country, fighters on both sides of the conflict claim the right to defend themselves and their land while committing crimes against each other,” he told ARA News.
“I saw many parents bidding last farewells to their beloved sons. It is a bitter situation which seems endless. We don’t know how many people are yet to die before this bloody war is over.”
“I haven’t seen either of my for since months. I’m mostly concerned that they could be involved in war crimes, which I don’t wish to even hear of,” Abu Wisam added. “We are living in a state of constant panic.”
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Friday at a press meeting with a Swedish newspaper Expressen that “the army is now weaker than before, and this is something normal as a result of the four-year long continuous war.”
The Syrian war has claimed lives of more than 220,000 people since its outbreak in 2011, according to U.N. figures.
Reporting by: Jan Nasro
Source: ARA News