The Syrian army, straining under battlefield defeats and flagging manpower, launched an army-reserves conscription campaign in Deir e-Zor province on Wednesday, reported the Deir e-Zor is Being Slaughtered Silently opposition media campaign.
The regime is compelling all male civilian government employees in Deir e-Zor province between 18 and 35 to sign enlistment papers for the army reserves, Abu Mujahid a-Shami, the head of Deir e-Zor is Being Slaughtered Silently, told Syria Direct on Thursday.
“They could get called up for duty at any time,” a-Shami said.
Aside from the occasional stick of coercion, regime recruiters regularly use carrots in the form of money to attract potential enlistees, drawing from some 300,000 civilians living in regime-held pockets in Deir e-Zor province. The Islamic State controls large parts of the province.
“Esteemed people of Deir e-Zor, volunteer for the Syrian army special forces, where you will defend your land and your honor,” reads a pro-regime recruitment flier uploaded by the pro-regime Deir e-Zor News Network to their Facebook page on Wednesday.
The flier offers a substantial financial incentive for those who volunteer for special forces: a salary of SP50,000 monthly ($265), more than double the average monthly salary in Syria.
The regime needs more fighters to break the Islamic State’s (IS) near-complete encirclement of the provincial capital of Deir e-Zor city and retake the highway leading to west into the Syrian heartland, reported pro-opposition Al-Hal news on Thursday.
Only one week ago regime Major General Mohammed Hadour visited Deir e-Zor city, demanding 1,500 new conscripts to win back the Deir e-Zor highway from IS, and got them within two weeks, noted the same report.