Some 170 Syrian soldiers declined to support the Assad regime by refusing to engage militarily with opposition forces, an Arab news agency reported.
Soldiers from Al-Suwayda located in the south of the country, announced their decision to disobey a military order which would have seen them travel over 318 kilometres to Hama in north western Syria to support a regime onslaught against opposition fighters.
Over 40,000 young men from the Al-Suwayda province are said to be carrying out their military service. However, disgruntled recruits decided not to support military campaigns outside their district by refusing orders from their superiors who want to transfer new recruits to the Hama governorate which has seen bloody clashes between the regime and opposition fighters.
According to the Arab news site the New Khaleej, the soldiers are refusing to take up positions and barracks because they believe that they are embroiled in a war that has nothing to do with them.
The soldiers’ refusal to carry out orders appears to reflect larger concerns within the Syrian army over maintaining the integrity of its military. The government responded against large scale opposition against conscription in times of civil war by enacting new measures to protect its military infrastructure and prevent a large exodus of its armed force.
Among the measures introduced by the Syrian regime since the outbreak of the conflict in 2011 is to allow young recruits from Jabal Al-Arab region to serve within their province. The measure was adopted to appease parts of the Syrian population that oppose the brutal war between the regime and the Syrian people.