Beirut, March 12 (IANS/AKI) Syrian government forces have killed over 30 deserters from the army in an ambush on the road to Damascus airport, opposition activists have alleged.
Opposition activist group Local Coordination Committees of Syria made the claim on its Facebook page.
The London-based Human Rights Observatory activist group also reported violent clashes along the Damascus airport road.
Syria’s grand mufti, Sheik Ahmad Badr al-Deen Hassoun, who is closely linked to embattled President Bashar al-Assad’s government, has called for more recruits to the Syrian army.
In a decree aired on state TV, Hassoun exhorted “all mothers and fathers in the homeland” to enlist their children in the army, to vanquish what he called a conspiracy of foreign enemies, including traitorous Arabs, Zionists and Westerners.
Assad’s armed forces are in need of more recruits and may begin strictly enforcing compulsory service laws for the first time since the conflict began, the decree said.
According to the Washington Institute think-tank, around 40 Syrian soldiers are killed each day in the conflict with anti-Assad rebels.
The two-year-long conflict has claimed over 70,000 lives.