A new wave of desertion is taking place amongst young people who are wanted for conscription in Syria at the same time that the Syrian regime is launching a new campaign to conscript young civilians that remain to the Syrian army. Hundreds of young men desert the army daily and flee to neighbouring countries illegally, especially those young men born between the years of 1973 and 1991 as they would be conscripted as reservists.
Last week, information released pointed to the fact that the Syrian regime had placed the names of 85,000 people who are wanted for military conscription in Damascus and its countryside on a list. This comes a year after the last campaign to conscript people for mandatory military service took place. Rumours spread on networking sites about military leaders “raising the age of reservists to 50 years” were denied by sources close to the regime on Facebook and they confirmed that the maximum age was 42.
Fadi is a young man who was born in 1983 and worked as the manager of a beauty salon in the countryside of Damascus. He fled the day before he was due to be called up to be a reservist and his mother said that one of Fadi’s friends leaked information that he would enlisted. Fadi fled to a neighbouring country and left behind his pregnant wife whom he married six months ago. He also left behind his work at the salon which he had worked hard to attain. His mother added that one of her sons died in the war and her other two sons emigrated to Germany last year.