Syria: Army reservists refuse call as Russia urges civilians to leave
Bashar Al-Assad's regime has been mobilizing an increasing number of reservists, a sign that the army was in a lot of pressure in its bid to quell the revolt after almost a year and a half. According to various sources, thousands of men had been summoned in the past two months to strengthen the ranks of the 300,000 strong military. However, many of them refused to answer the call.
An officer from the Homs region estimated that only half of the Syrian army recalled in recent months have fulfilled their duty. According to this officer, many units suffered heavy losses in the fighting against the insurgents.
"There is a shortage of men. Many fighters have been killed and we suffer desertions," lamented the officer.
Meanwhile, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov asked all Russian citizens not to travel to Syria, and those already there to leave urgently as Syria becomes less safe. This stern warning issued as the "Free Syrian Army", the armed wing of the rebellion, intensified its raids against civilian airports in Damascus and Aleppo.
According to the statement by Lavrov, the real threat began on 1 September when planes were taking off from civilian airports, which were damaged. "These threats are unacceptable and a flagrant violation of international law. The attacks by the Syrian opposition seek to assault civilian and military targets. There are other countries that encourage the activities of rebel," he added.
Yesterday evening, the Syrian Information Minister said that the Syrian opposition also maintains ties with the Israeli regime. Speaking to reporters in Damascus, the minister said that "any person who is in contact with the Israeli entity is a traitor" and said that the rebels "have Israeli weapons at airport in Turkey." He also accused Israel of killing Syrian scientists.