- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

President Assad Bashar is running out of government troops to fight off rebels, a new report detailing the Syrian leader’s recruitment effort suggests.

A Sunni cleric close to Mr. Assad — grand mufti Sheik Ahmad Badr al Deen Hassoun — has issued a decree for more military recruits, The Guardian reports. The decree suggests a dire need; if volunteers don’t step up, the government may start enforcing its compulsory service authorities, The Guardian says.

Jeffrey White with the Washington Institute reports that an estimated 40 government soldiers are killed every day. Mr. White’s just toured Syria, and his estimate comes from the country’s funeral data.

“In [the funeral worker’s] view, the army was exhausting itself,” Mr. White said, in The Guardian.

Mr. White also confirms what the United Nations just reported — that Syria’s government has been increasingly relying on armed militia groups for aid.

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