You can read 19 more articles this month
SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad issued a general amnesty to army deserters yesterday in a bid to encourage refugees to return home.
In the seven years since Syria’s civil war began, significant numbers of Syrian Arab Army soldiers deserted, with the once significant Free Syrian Army rebel group — long since eclipsed by more extreme jihadist organisations and effectively moribund since 2012 — largely composed of defectors from the army.
The amnesty applies to deserters and people who dodged being drafted into the army, but will not apply to defectors who actually took up arms against Syrian troops. Deserters in Syria have four months to take advantage of the amnesty and those abroad six months.
Over five million Syrians have fled the brutal conflict and many more are internally displaced.
US-based Century Foundation think tank Syria expert Aron Lund said: “Conscription has been a major, major driver of exile” and that he could not “overestimate how important this is.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.