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Syria Enlists Volunteers in Struggle Against ISIL

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the mediabankSyrian Army soldiers
Syrian Army soldiers - Sputnik International
Syrians are joining new self-defense units created after the beginning of Russia's aerial operation in Syria, as the ground war heats up.

Syrian people's self-defense units are growing in power as hundreds of local residents sign up and go through accelerated basic training, Latakia governor Ibrahim Salim told journalists on Monday.

The governor noted that the number of residents wishing to join the self-defense militias grew greatly as a result of Russia's military operation against terrorist groups in Syria, and the intensification of strikes in recent days. The people's self-defense units were created after the Russian military operation in Syria began.

"The people's self-defense units are becoming the Syrian army's most powerful support on the local level," governor Salim said.

Syrian government forces drive a tank on a road in the Maysar neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on July 29, 2015 - Sputnik International
War and Peace in Aleppo Outskirts
The units are trained to assist the military in operations against terrorist groups as auxiliaries, as well as to replace enlisted soldiers at checkpoints.

Over 600 residents of the province completed the week-long training on Monday, according to Salim. The training covers first aid, using several types of firearms and identifying landmines.

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