DAMASCUS SYRIA (6:30 P.M.) – The Saudi-backed rebel group, Jaysh al-Islam, is undergoing a military reorganization in Syria’s north after the group’s defeat in East Ghouta.
Jaysh al-Islam leadership, currently based in Jarabulus of north Aleppo, has launched a recruiting campaign among refugees and evacuees from various Syrian areas to join their ranks for a $200 monthly salary.
Recruiters roamed tens of villages and towns in the sprawling countryside of Jarabulus and Afrin city, setting up offices to enroll the recruits . Militants of minor rebel groups in the area were also targeted by the campaign.
The strive to enlist more fighters and annex smaller factions was coupled with deals to purchase weapons and ammunition from local armed militias.
The group’s leader, Issam Buwaydani, toured the area days earlier and met with Syrian refugees and evacuees, vowing to carry out the fight against his enemies; namely the Islamic State and Kurdish militia, but without mentioning the Syrian Army.
Jaysh al-Islam left their longtime stronghold of Douma last month after accepting a surrender deal with the Syrian government. This came after the government troops waged a powerful assault in which they have retaken most of the East Ghouta region.