Syrian army eroded by defections, battle deaths
BEIRUT – A top Syrian cleric's appeal to young men to join the army raised the question of whether President Bashar Assad is running out of soldiers, prompting a pro-government newspaper to reassure readers Tuesday that the military can keep fighting insurgents for years to come.
Syria's civil war, with its large-scale defections, thousands of soldiers killed and multiple fronts, has eroded one of the Arab world's biggest armies, with pro-Assad militias increasingly filling in for troops.
But while the rebels have scored military and diplomatic gains, the regime is far from its breaking point.
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