With more funerals for regime troops daily, loyalists in Homs find ways to smuggle their sons abroad to avoid military conscription

May 02, 2015

02-04-2015: Young people from traditionally pro-regime neighbourhoods of Homs have begun fleeing the country illegally in order to avoid the compulsory conscription and service in the military reserves imposed by the Assad regime as it attempts to stem advances by rebel battalions across Syria, with banners of liberation being raised in cities, towns and villages across the north of the country as the forces of Bashar al Assad and his affiliated Tehran-backed militias are driven out.

'Raja', a teacher in a school in a pro-regime neighbourhood of Homs currently under the rule of the regime’s ‘National Defence Force’ militia, told All4Syria that increasing numbers of parents of military-age youths have begun making arrangements to help their sons escape conscription and mandatory service with the regime army or affiliated militias.

Raja explained that one common method used by parents is to pay large bribes to staff at the regime’s military recruitment offices to alter their children’s personal data, allowing them for instance to leave for Lebanon on the fictitious grounds that they are the family’s sole breadwinner and need to travel there to find work or that they have an employment contract with a company abroad.

‘Samer’, another resident of a pro-regime neighbourhood in Homs, told All4Syria about a regime employee who paid a bribe of 800,000 Syrian pounds (US $4,234) to a regime officer to facilitate his 20-year-old son’s crossing the Syrian-Lebanese border and travel to Beirut in order to escape what the father called the ‘holocaust’ being perpetrated by the regime, with infighting between regime troops and militias in Homs leading to increasing tensions in the area.

Many of the regime’s former supporters in Homs are now angry and resentful at the regime over the losses they’ve sustained for Assad, with the bodies of 96 soldiers from the Alawite sect alone being returned to the city in the past few days after they were killed in fighting in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

By: Mohammed Al-Homsi
Report and photo from: All4Syria.info
Original report (in Arabic) published on Friday May 1st, 2015: http://all4syria.info/Archive/209384