CHANGING LOYALTIES: Ten members of the Sham al-Rasul Brigade, a unit within the Free Syrian Army (FSA), were arrested by their commanders in the village of Beit Sahem in southern Damascus on Saturday while attempting to defect to the regime, Mahmoud Amr, a media activist in Beit Sahem told Syria Direct on Sunday.
The arrests come in the wake of what appears to be a wave of FSA defections to the regime in southern Damascus over the past week.
The fighters were described as an “armed cell that sought to flee the village and give themselves over to Assad,” according to a description posted alongside a picture of the group on Sham al-Rusul’s official Facebook page Saturday.
“All those who have been communicating directly and providing information to the regime will be given the death penalty,” according to Amr. “Those who aren’t found guilty will be given lighter sentences in accordance with their crimes,” he said.
Four groups of armed fighters, each one consisting of between 20 to 30 fighters, defected to the Syrian Army and pro-regime National Defense Forces in southern Damascus on Saturday, reported the state-affiliated Al-Watan news outlet on Saturday.
Several dozen FSA fighters stationed in southern Damascus defected to the regime on March 11th and 12th, several days after it was reported that 60 fighters from Liwa al-Anfal defected to the regime March 8th and 9th. The southern Damascus villages of Beit Sahem, Yelda and Biblia have been under regime siege for more than a year.
-March 15, 2015
-Photo courtesy of @SadaAltwhed
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