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The army has shrunk by nearly half since Syria's conflict erupted in 2011 but experts say the remaining military force is now both more flexible and more capable.Syria's armed forces were hurled into an unprecedented conflict after the government moved to quell an uprising that began in March 2011 .Nearly 190,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, including some 40,000 soldiers and 27,000 pro-regime forces, as well as 55,000 rebel fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.Despite its losses, the army has avoided recruitment campaigns and relied on compulsory military service to replenish its ranks.An official source in the army, meanwhile, played down the need for reinforcements, insisting losses in personnel and materiel were being quickly replaced.The army lost control of large parts of Syria in the early days of the conflict, but it has recaptured significant territory in the past year, with a focus on protecting the capital Damascus.
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