The Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense reported that the Syrian government is not fulfilling its previous promises to Russia regarding the systematic supply of mercenaries to the Russian army.
On 22 March, a meeting took place between the commander of the 8th Brigade in the southern Syrian province of Dera, Colonel Nasim Abu Irra, and General of the Russian Armed Forces Alexander Zhuravlev (acting commander of a Russian group in the southern Syrian provinces). During the meeting, the Russian general made an explicit request to form and provide a list of names and personal information of militants from Abu Irra's units and the Syrian Defense Forces ready to take part in the war against Ukraine. The Syrian colonel did not give a clear answer," Ukrainian intelligence said.
After this conversation, the Syrian side promised to get in touch after consulting with "other members of the leadership of the 8th Brigade".
The CDI noted that there are reports that Russian operatives are currently trying to agree on recruiting mercenaries from the 16th brigade of the Syrian Arab Republic.
"Syria is failing the plan to involve militants in the war in Ukraine on the side of Russia". The CDI said most Syrian soldiers are not ready to risk their lives for illusory financial support.
On 7 March, The Wall Street Journal, citing interlocutors in the US government, published a report that Russia was recruiting fighters in Syria, hoping that their fighting experience in urban areas would help take Kyiv.
On 13 March, the CDI of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that Russia had already gathered thousands of mercenaries in Syria and Libya.
Recently, Ukrainian intelligence said that some Syrian mercenaries consider participating in the war in Ukraine on the side of Russia as an opportunity for further desertion and illegal migration to EU countries.