For the first time since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, the Ministry of Defense of Syria decided to demobilize thousands of Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers, several Syrian pro-government activists reported on May 26.
According to activists, the number of soldiers who will be released from service is very high and could be over 10,000. Most of these soldiers joined the ranks of the SAA in 2010 prior to the war to fulfill their mandatory military service. A small percentage of reservists who were summoned in 2011 are also expected to be demobilized.
The soldiers will be released from military service on 1 June under an official order that will be released by the Syrian MoD, according to Syrian pro-government sources.
Between 2012 and 2013, the SAA suffered from a severe shortage in manpower – many soldiers were killed in the battlefield or defected to join opposition forces. While Syrian opposition activists claim that the SAA is still suffering from shortage in manpower to this day, the demobilization of this large number of soldiers proves the opposite of this claim.