DamascusSeptember 14, 2015http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-direct-news-update-9-14-15/The Syrian government announced the extension of benefits to state employees previously called up to reserve service in a decree issued on Sunday, highlighting the regime’s difficulty in bolstering its military ranks. The new law grants employees who completed reserve service between 2011 and 2014 to receive their full back pay for the time they served, and guarantees that employees in both the private and public sectors can return to their jobs upon completion. The regime has resorted to firing state employees who did not fulfill their mandated reserve service. In Syria, reservists are picked from those who have completed their original 21-month term of compulsory military service based on their specialization and the army's needs. The decision comes amidst regime difficulties in maintaining its military forces, with Bashar al-Assad admitting to a “manpower shortage” in a June speech.