Scores of Syrian regime soldiers have reportedly fled Syria to join Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, according to local sources on Thursday.
The sources said the Bashar al-Assad regime has been unable to pay salaries of the soldiers amid a financial crisis gripping the war-ravaged country.
The sources said many soldiers in the provinces of Hama, Homs and Aleppo were seeking to travel to Libya to join Haftar’s militias.
“A number of soldiers have already deserted the army to travel to Libya for money,” one of the sources said.
According to the sources, the Russian Khmeimim base in Latakia province is being used as a recruitment point for the soldiers before sending them to Libya.
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Syria’s economic conditions have badly deteriorated since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011.
Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara