Syrian president grants amnesty to deserters, draft-dodgers
Iran Press TV
Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:48PM
The Syrian government has granted a general amnesty to thousands of soldiers who have defected from the army as well as draft-dodgers.
SANA news agency reported that President Bashar al-Assad issued a special decree according to which defectors inside the country have a thirty-day window, and those who are outside, sixty days to report themselves to the authorities.
Draft-dodgers, who violated the country's compulsory military conscription law, have not been given a time frame on when to hand themselves in.
The president's decree is said to lift legal penalties against army deserters both inside and outside Syria.
In mid-July, President Assad also pardoned more than 400 prisoners who were held on terror-linked charges and/or collaboration with the foreign-backed militants wreaking havoc across the country.
Syria's Minister of Justice Najm Hamad al-Ahmad has promised amnesty to those who choose to lay down their weapons and turn themselves in.
"We have always said that the state of Syria is like a mother and while we crack down on terrorism with one hand we take care of our children with the other hand. We still release more people as we further study their cases not just in Damascus but all over Syria," said al-Ahmad speaking to Press TV in mid-July.
Syria is battling ISIL terrorists and other militant groups on several major fronts across the country.
The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah also plays a strategic role in fighting the radical forces in Syria.
Hezbollah fighters and the Syrian army have made significant gains in their battle against Takfiri militants' campaign of terror in the Qalamoun region, the mountainous area bordering Lebanon and close to the Syrian capital.
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