المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

In 2 months of its control, the regime turns the Eastern Ghouta into a human reservoir for its forces by joining more than 9000 civilians and fighters to its ranks

The process of joining youth and men of the Eastern Ghouta to the ranks of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them continues, where thousands of who have been transferred to the shelters in the suburbs of Damascus have joined regime’s ranks so far, since after the end of the Eastern Ghouta operations and the control of the regime forces and its allies over it, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: it rose to more than 8000, the number of volunteers and recruited persons of the displaced people of the Eastern Ghouta in Rif Dimashq province in the shelter centers, where the process of volunteering and recruiting took place in two parallel directions, the first one is taking place in the Eastern Ghouta, through the volunteering of young men who remained in the Eastern Ghouta and joining the ranks of the regime forces, while the other one is taking place through the volunteering and recruiting in the shelter centers by young men who remained there, where the reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that about 1200 young men have been recruited by registration their names at the recruitment centers of the “reconciliation and situation settlement” centers in displaced people’s camps; out of about 9000 persons aged between 17 and 45 who are present at these shelter centers, after returning women, children and elderly people from the shelter centers to their towns from which they were displaced in the Eastern Ghouta, and keeping thousands of young men under the pretext of “their situation settlement processes have not been finished yet”, along with pressure by the regime and the “reconciliation” committees on the citizens; by suggesting to them that their joining is the only solution to get out of the shelter centers and meet their families, which contradicts the Russian guarantees provided to Rahman Corps in the Eastern Ghouta, that the recruitment process will not take place before 6 months at least of the date of the full implementation of the displacement process.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was informed by reliable sources that volunteers are from the cities and towns of Douma, Hamouriyah, Arbin, Jesrin, KafrBatna, Hazza, Mesraba, Saqba, Madyara and other areas in the Eastern Ghouta, including former fighters who had joined the military action when it started in the Eastern Ghouta, but then they left it and stayed in their homes until the factions got out of them, and until displacing who refused the agreement of the factions in the Eastern Ghouta with the regime and the Russians, while the process of joining the youth and men to the ranks of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them continues, thus,  the number of who have been joined and enlisted in the ranks of the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them have reached about 9200 people, since the start of displacement processes in the Eastern Ghouta and until now.

Reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory in the first half of April 2018 that hundreds of Al-Rahman Corps’ fighters have surrendered to the regime forces, in the wake of the departure of the convoys of Al-Rahman Corps’ fighters with their families and citizens who reject the agreement, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory; the total number of the fighters and commanders who have surrendered to the regime forces, approximated 1200 fighters and leaders, as groups of Al-Rahman Corps’ members have surrendered sequentially, where the sources confirmed to the SOHR that about 800 fighters mostly are of the security groups operating within Al-Rahman Corps, including groups and battalions commanders, surrendered to the regime forces in conjunction with the departure of the convoys from the Eastern Ghouta, according to the agreement of Zamalka – Jobar – Arbin, where these groups were the security pillar of Al-Rahman Corps, which the corps depended on, in the operations of the internal fighting in the Eastern Ghouta, with Jaysh Al-Islam and Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham.

Also about 320 fighters of those stationed on the contact lines and fronts with the regime forces and their allies of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities, surrendered after the departure of all convoys from the former controlled areas of Al-Rahman Corps in the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, in Jisrayn, Hamouriyah, Arbin, Kafr Batna, Saqba and Jobar, and the Syrian Observatory learned that one of the field commanders who confronted a large attack by the regime forces in 2017 when they carried out a violent attack on Ein Tarma area, has surrendered to the regime forces with more than 40 of his members, and the reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that most of the members who have surrendered to the regime, turned into “popular committees” operating within the ranks of the regime forces, and the members who have surrendered, included groups commanders, prison chiefs, and battalions and brigades commanders in Al-Rahman Corps, where they joined the forces of the 4th Division and the Republican Guard and other bodies affiliated to the regime, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 19th of March 2018, that groups of Al-Rahman Corps, turned into popular committees operating with the regime forces, in the area used to be controlled by Al-Rahman Corps and which the regime forces advanced into, in the south-western enclave of the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, and it monitored clashes against fighters in the corps in the contact areas between these committees and the members of the latter.

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