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Militants pardoned by Damascus join Syria’s government forces

March 06, 2017, 9:38 UTC+3 ALEPPO

All the militants who decided to lay down their arms, underwent checks

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

ALEPPO /Syria/, March 6. /TASS/. Militants in Aleppo pardoned by Damascus are now enlisting in the Syrian army en masse, while others are returning to civilian life.

They noted that they laid down arms in spite of threats from the terrorists. "That was indeed my personal decision," said Saleb who is now a member of a volunteer assault corps. "I will defend my people from the terrorists and liberate my homeland from them." "They (terrorists) promised us that they would build a just future, but they only bring death and destruction. They are crazy fanatics who can only do one thing - kill. Civilians do not support them," another pardoned militant chimed in, also a Syrian army soldier called Abdullah, told reporters.

Some civilians were recruited by the militants against their will, some of them out of despair, others were blackmailed by the terrorist into joining. The militants threatened them that if they didn’t join, they would kill their family members. "I used to live in eastern Aleppo and had no means to feed my family. On the other hand, the gunmen’s warehouses were stuffed with western humanitarian aid, but they distributed it only among the gunmen’s families. I joined their ranks in order not to die of starvation," said another pardoned gunman, Mohammad Ahmad Jasim. As soon as the Syrian army launched an offensive, he immediately surrendered to the authorities.

All the militants who decided to lay down their arms, underwent checks. Those who decided to join the army were provided with the necessary munitions. The process is ensured by the elders with the participation of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in Syria. The amnesty law was passed in Syria in July 2016. The decree issued by President Bashar al-Assad stipulates amnesty for all armed individuals as well as for those who previously avoided prosecution, if they surrender and release those held captive. The decree stated that all those willing to comply with these terms will not be indicted. The decree was extended until June 30, 2017.


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