Syrian regime warns military personnel against using “suspicious applications”

The Minister of Defense in the regime’s government, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, conducted an inspection tour of the fires in Latakia governorate - July 30, 2023 (Syrian Ministry of Defense/Facebook)

The Minister of Defense in the regime’s government, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, conducted an inspection tour of the fires in Latakia governorate - July 30, 2023 (Syrian Ministry of Defense/Facebook)

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The Operations Department of the Syrian regime’s army has issued a circular indicating the spread of “suspicious applications” among military personnel, which request them to photograph military areas in exchange for financial rewards.

According to the internal circular obtained by Enab Baladi, issued by the Minister of Defense in the regime’s government, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, on November 4, information has reached the General Command of the Army about the spread of “suspicious applications” on social media platforms, especially in southern areas of Syria.

The circular specifically mentioned the application “Sahabat al-Khair” that sends a weekly free balance of around 10,000 Syrian pounds to its users, then later asks them to “photograph military units and points in return for financial rewards and attempts to recruit them,” according to the circular.

The circular indicated that the majority of the application’s users are military personnel in the regime forces.

The circular requested military authorities to warn all personnel against dealing or communicating with any “suspicious or unknown pages,” especially the “Sahabat al-Khair” application.

The Military Intelligence Directorate in the regime’s army issued a circular on March 20 that requires the periodic registration of contact information and social media accounts for officers, volunteers, and conscripts under the acceptance of liability. 

According to the internal circular that Enab Baladi has seen a copy of, security officers in each military unit have become responsible for collecting the specific information listed in the circular from the military personnel.

According to several conscripted military personnel in the Syrian regime’s army that Enab Baladi interviewed, the Military Intelligence branch has requested the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) for the mobile phones of individuals working in the army sector. Additionally, they were required to provide their phone numbers, social media accounts, and email addresses.

Recently, the Ministry of Defense has issued several circulars related to preventing the leakage of military information or documents, including prohibiting military personnel from discussing military matters except through official channels.

The military personnel in the regime forces resort to any means that can bring them financial income, including applications that offer monetary rewards. This comes in light of the financial crisis that the regime forces have been suffering since 2022. A group of officers and unit leaders previously requested the command of the Syrian army to allow conscripts in the army to work for 15 days a month to support their families.

 

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