Photo Credit: Upyernoz
Syrian Soldier

Mercenary recruitment centers have been opened in Syria, where more than 1,000 people have enlisted in recent days, about 400 of whom have already arrived in Russia with the aim of subsequent engagement in the war against Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a statement Monday afternoon.

According to the same source, mercenary training camps have been set up near the Ukrainian border in Rostov (Russia) and Gomel (Belarus), as the Russian invading force continues to bring in fresh recruits.

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The New Arab on Sunday cited sources in Syria who said the Russian army was offering monthly salaries ranging between $300 and $600 to able-bodied Syrians interested in fighting in Ukraine.

According to the Ukrainian Army General Staff, as of noon Monday, Russian troops continued their offensive operation but have yet to deliver a decisive blow to the defending army, or even gain permanent presence beyond the borders of the rogue republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Russian officials said on Friday that thousands of volunteers from the Middle East were lining up to fight against Ukraine, international media reports that Russia was recruiting Syrian mercenaries, The New Arab reported.

On Friday, President Vladimir Putin acknowledged his desire to involve international volunteers on Russia’s side. Putin was referring to a report from Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who announced his office had received “numerous requests from various volunteers from various countries, who want to come to the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to participate in what they believe is a liberation movement. The majority of requests came from the Middle East, as we have received over 16,000 of them.”

“Certainly, we believe it is right to respond favorably to these requests, especially since these requests are not for making money, but about the true desire of these people. We know many of them, they helped us in the fight against ISIS during the most difficult times, over the past ten years,” Shoigu concluded.

Last Thursday, the Ukrainian defense ministry said dog tags displaying Syrian telephone numbers had been found on the bodies of killed Russian mercenaries.

Meanwhile, the Voice of America on Friday cited an anonymous senior US defense official who told reporters: “We haven’t seen indications that their recruiting efforts have borne fruit and resulted in the actual arrival of foreign fighters from that part of the world.”

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, quipped in response to all of the above: “Where’s the powerful Russian army if they can’t get by without Syrians? If they want us to also kill 16,000 Syrians – let them come.”

That’s a lot of braggadocio there, pilgrim…

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.