MOSCOW (Sputnik) — More than 10,000 of militants in Syria have surrendered their weapons and went back to peaceful life since the beginning of the conflict, with some of them joining the ranks of the Syrian army, Syrian Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar told Sputnik on Thursday.
"Now we can talk about more than 10,000 people [former militants] who went through the reconciliation process since the beginning of the conflict, and they came back to peaceful life. Part of them joined the Syrian army," the minister said.
Some Syrian Militants Agree to Peace Talks Only Under Russian Mediation
Russia plays a very important role in the reconciliation work underway in Syria, as some militants refuse to communicate with any other party besides the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation at the Hmeymim airbase, Haidar told Sputnik.
"Of course, Russia's role is very important, because they have a better ability to communicate with the militants. Some militants refuse to talk with us and only agree to communicate with Russia, and that has been very helpful," Haidar said.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with opposition factions and Islamist terrorist groups such as Daesh and al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front, now known as Jabhat Fatah al Sham, fighting the Syrian army. Both organizations are banned in many countries worldwide, including Russia.