The Free Syrian Army spokesman Ammar al-Wawi has said that The Syrian regime is beginning to lose control over its security forces and is thus forced to hire mercenaries from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, The spokesman said that in recent months many army and police officers defected, a fact that "requires the regime to make internal changes in the military ranks." Al-Wawi added that the mercenaries include members of Iraqi Shiite militias, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah, and are being deployed in military operations against rebel forces. Meanwhile, The Syrian army has suffered a major blow this weekend with 47 soldiers killed in clashes with deserters since Thursday. Twenty-six soldiers were killed on Thursday, 13 on Friday and eight in the latest attack on Saturday. A Syrian rights group said that at least 40 were injured when defectors mounted an attack in the Idlib region. According to the report, none of the deserters were hurt themselves. As many as 70 people were killed on Saturday alone. The Free Syrian Army, comprised of army defectors, claims to include 20,000 fighters led by General Riyadh al-Asaad.