Syria recruiting troops from its military to fight with Russian forces in Ukraine

  2022-03-12 11:48      135 View Count        Comment

Syria’s military has begun recruiting troops from its own ranks to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine, promising payments of $3,000 a month – a sum up to 50 times a Syrian soldier’s monthly salary.
Enlistment notices have been posted on regime linked websites in recent days, including profiles linked to the 4th Division, one of Bashar al-Assad’s core units. One such advert states that troops who sign up will be fighting in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin gave the green light on Friday for what he claimed would be up to 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East deploying alongside Russian-backed rebels fighting in Ukraine, as the two-week-old invasion struggles to maintain momentum.
Russia’s defence ministry said the deployment would be made to the breakaway Donbas region of eastern Ukraine where much of the recent fighting had been focused.

Even for a military worn down by a decade of war at home, the offer of such a salary will probably prove to be a significant enticement for forces loyal to Assad, who have clawed back control of close to two-thirds of Syria, largely thanks to Russian air cover and the widespread use of Iranian mercenaries on the ground.
Putin had earlier denied that Syrian troops would be paid. “If you see that there are these people who want of their own accord, not for money, to come to help the people living in Donbas, then we need to give them what they want and help them get to the conflict zones,” he said.
The Russian president claimed his welcoming of foreign forces came after an influx of foreign fighters to Ukraine, which he said were encouraged to travel there by the west. The increasing flow of foreigners raises the spectre of the war becoming a regional conflict – something European states and the US have been trying to avoid by keeping state armies garrisoned.
One such notice addressed to ”the men of the 4th Division security office’, offers an “employee contract for immediate enlistment and in addition to seeking basic details, provides a job description that includes “military raids, operations abroad and travel to Ukraine, with all provided. Salary is up to $3,000 depending on experience.”

Numerous posts were also made on Friday by soldiers or supporters of Assad requesting information on how to enlist.
Footage of what appeared to be Syrian troops on a parade ground carrying Russian and Syrian flags and chanting in support of the Syrian president emerged on Friday. Other images of militia groups, also waving the flags of both countries, including a well-known group comprising Christian members, were posted earlier in the week.
Though relatively small in number, the commitment of Russian troops to Syria over the past seven years has been a huge investment for Putin, from which he is yet to reap the rewards he expected.

The campaign to save the Syrian leader has given Putin tutelage over core parts of the Syrian state and has placed Assad firmly in his debt, meaning a deployment of Syrian troops to Ukraine had become more likely, as what was conceived as a quick-fire war settled instead into a grinding occupation.
Worn down by a withering conflict at home, Assad’s army has barely regrouped after a decade-long fight with anti-Assad opposition groups and Islamic State. Some of the Syrian military’s most important units are reported not to be battle ready.
Intelligence officials continued to claim on Friday that Putin had been surprised by the strength of Ukrainian resistance and by the readiness of the west to supply Kyiv with weapons that have drastically slowed Russian advances and taken a serious toll on the invader’s air force.
However one senior European official cautioned that Putin had yet to authorise the use of strategic weapons, such as heavy bombers, or long-range ballistic missiles, which could drastically amplify levels of destruction.

(The Guardian/PUKNOW)



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