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Israel sees Syrian army growing beyond pre-civil war size

August 7, 2018 4:28 PM
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MEROM GOLAN, Golan Heights (Reuters) - Israel’s defence minister said on Tuesday that Syria was building up its ground forces beyond their pre-civil war size, an assessment that suggests President Bashar al-Assad’s army has recovered from a critical manpower shortage earlier in the war.

The Syrian military was hit by major defections in the first years of the conflict, which began in 2011, and by 2015 Assad acknowledged that “a shortfall in human capacity” meant the army could not fight everywhere for fear of losing vital ground.

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