The "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) has instructed all males in Deir Ezzor between the ages of 20 and 30 to report for sharia and military training, activists told Diyaruna.
The imposition of mandatory conscription, which would require young men to fight for the group, triggered an instant wave of fear and apprehension.
Many civilians began to flee the area, activists said, despite putting their lives in danger due to the measures ISIS has taken to prevent them from leaving.
The announcement, issued by ISIS's "Wilayat al-Khair" (Deir Ezzor province), began to circulate on Thursday (August 3rd), Deir Ezzor media activist Mahmoud Nader told Diyaruna using a pseudonym out of concern for his safety.
ISIS elements in Deir Ezzor and its surrounding areas handed out the notice to pedestrians and posted it at mosques and in public places, he said.
The announcement called for "general mandatory conscription to repel the Nusairi invasion", in reference to the Syrian regime's forces.
It instructed all youth between the ages of 20 to 30, who were referred to as the mustanfaroun (the mobilised), to present themselves to the mobilisation registrar within one week to fill out their paperwork.
The men would then be required to undergo a sharia and military course that would qualify them to fight in the ranks of ISIS, the notice said, warning that those who did not comply would be held to account and "forcibly" conscripted.
The edict sparked anxiety in the region, Nader said, noting that it directly affects a large segment of the area's population.
"Many families have fled Deir Ezzor, but more than 30 families were detained in an ambush set up by the group in the Abu Khashab area of western rural Deir Ezzor, and their fate so far remains unknown," he said.
ISIS has stepped up its patrols in areas under its control in Deir Ezzor and shut down all internet cafés in the city and its western and eastern rural areas.
The notice will be broadcast in mosques during the Friday sermons, Nader said, "as this presents an opportunity for the group to put the youth on the spot and drag them to its conscription offices".