The Syrian regime is attempting to pressure detainees at the central prison in Adra, rural Damascus, to fight with the regime in the multiple fronts against opposition forces and the Islamic State group.
“The Syrian regime is negotiating with detainees in Adra prison and preparing them for their release in exchange for fighting in the regime’s ranks in Deir Az-Zour and Aleppo,” activist Ali Paz told The New Arab.
A delegation from the Syrian army visited the prison and tried to persuade prisoners to accept the offer, specifically those who exceeded their sentences of imprisonment of five years, and said that charges would be dropped against them.
“Many prisoners have signed up, the majority of whom have committed criminal offences and are serving long prison terms. The agreement will reportedly come into effect next week,” said Baz.
The Syrian regime has suffered a lack of manpower for some time, with the head of the Syrian regime discussing a “lack of human energy” in July 2015.
Reports have discussed the concentration of Shia militias from Afghanistan and Iraq, estimated to number around 20,000 forces, led by Generals from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Lebanese Shia movement Hizballah has also taken a central role in fighting opposition forces in the country.
Since 2013, fighting against rebels has been led by the National Defence Forces, comprised of predominantly Alawi militias who the regime continues to rely on.
Meanwhile the regime continues to be backed in the skies by Russian air forces, which have targeted civilian infrastructure, recently a hospital in Idlib, killings tens of people.