Authorities in Latakia district, Northern Syria, have created a
volunteer army to help the National Syrian Army defend the area from the
"We train the volunteers of the National Defence Force so that they are
ready to fight on the streets, ready for quick war operations in which
they will attack militants. We also train them to conduct special
operations and to be able to use all types of weapons", says an
Volunteers take part in intensive military exercises. People who have
served in the army may join the National Defence Force, after a
commission is sure they were not convicted of serious crimes like murder
New troops include soldiers of different ages, communities and professions.
"I am an engineer, and I decided to enter the National Defence Forces in
order to support our army. This is our duty, to stand by its side, to
support it, and we won’t let anyone touch our country", says one of the
An essential task of the volunteers is to support the regular army in
military operations, on the one hand, and the protection of the areas
they are in control of on the other.
The establishment of the volunteer army does not mean that the National
Syrian Army has been weakened by the conflict. According to some
reports, the formation of the force is aimed at finding a solution to
the conflict, and then entering a phase of negotiations.
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