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Syrian regime pursues draft dodgers

The Syrian regime is imposing tough new measures to prevent young men in regime-held areas from avoiding military conscription.
A Syrian man walks past a wall bearing the portraits of soldiers from the city of Tartus, who died during the Syrian conflict, in the city northwest of Damascus on May 18, 2014. Tartus has itself largely escaped the conflict in Syria, but posters of its sons killed fighting for the regime elsewhere in the country line the western city's main road. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID        (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

TARTUS, Syria — Despite the bloody battles across Syria, many young men residing in regime-controlled regions have managed to escape military service for the last three years. But in early November, the Syrian authorities implemented new measures that have made evasion almost impossible unless the young men leave the country — no easy option, either.

Syrian authorities are on the hunt for draft dodgers, deploying across regime-held areas and raiding public places. "Mohammad" (a pseudonym), 33, is afraid of wandering the streets of Tartus after the tough first few weeks of November.

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