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Daraa: Latest Developments Following the Second Round of Negotiations

A Russian vehicle followed by a Free Army car on the way to conduct negotiations in Bosra al-sham – July 1, 2018 (Enab Baladi)

A Russian vehicle followed by a Free Army car on the way to conduct negotiations in Bosra al-sham – July 1, 2018 (Enab Baladi)

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A cautious calm has overcome the governorate of Daraa, following the end of the second round of negotiations that joined Russia and the opposition factions, broken by a mutual shelling at the outskirts Tafas, in the rural countryside of the governorate.

The second round of negotiations was conducted yesterday, July the first, in the city of Bosra al-sham. The negotiations witnessed a raft between the factions, as Ahmad al-Oodah, the leader of “Shabab al-Sunah Forces”, approved the reconciliation and surrendering the areas while the rest of the factions refused and decided to fight.

According to the information that Enab Baladi managed to get today, Monday, July 2, Russia has proposed conditions to stop the attack, including surrendering medium and heavy arsenal, as well Assad’s forces admission to the “liberated” areas and tackling the management of al-Nasib border crossing following the faction’s retreat from it.

The factions’ delegation was headed by the “Free Army” leader Adham al-krad (Abu Qusai), Bashar al-Zoubi, the director of “al-Thawra Army”, and Abu Omar al-Zagloul, the leader of “Osod al-Sunnah”.

The terms also provided for the dissident officers and military service escapees’ enrollment after six month, in addition to the status legalization of prosecuted people, following Assad’s forces entry to all the areas controlled by the factions.

 

 “Ahmad al-Oodah” Surrenders Bosra al-Sham

Sources, informed of the negotiations, have told Enab Baladi that the leader Ahmad al-Oodah has approved the terms proposed by Russians and started surrendering his faction’s weaponry and vehicles, on the condition that the Russian police and Assad’s forces would enter all Bosra al-Sham.

Activists have published a video showing vehicle’s delivery to the Russian police, which leader al-Oodah justified through a voice note exchanged on “WhatsApp” groups, saying that is for the sake of the displaced people’s return to the city.

Today, the Syrian regime’s official media outlets have reported that the “reconciliations” are not limited to Bosra al-Sham; rather, they will cover towns, near the Jordanian borders.

However, the sources, which Enab Baladi has contacted, denied that other towns have accepted the Russian terms in astern Daraa.

They pointed out that the military factions have refused the offer entirely and choose confrontations, especially in Daraa al-Balad and the towns of Saida, elmiathin, Nasib, el-Emtaih, al-Naimah, el-Taebah, arriving at the western countryside of Tafas, Nawa and its surrounding.

The concerned factions include “al-Thawra Army”, “First Artillery Regment” “Osod al-Sunna”, “Falojat Horan Brigade”, “Thuwar al- Jaidour” and “al-Bunyan al-Marsous”.

Assad’s forces and allied militias supporting them have already achieved a marked progress within the western and eastern rural parts of Daraa through the “reconciliation” agreements that went viral in the area since last Friday.

 

Leaders Sound a “Clarion call”

During yesterday’s negotiation’s round and in the presence of “Tahrir al-Sham” leader, the Russian Commissioner said that his State will offer “Tahrir al-Sham” a proposal, separate from the rest of the opposition factions.

Enab Baladi managed to get a sound recording, mentioning that leader “Abu Jaber” refused to have a separate proposal and asked the Russian delegation to discuss it in a direct manner.

The proposal provided for transporting all “Tahrir al-Sham’s” troops from Daraa governorate to Northern Syria with their complete arsenal and with the guarantee that they would not be subject to harassment.

“Abu Jaber”, nonetheless refused the Russians’ terms and said that his faction’s choice is “fighting and war” beside the rest of the factions, involved in the confrontations.

Qasim al-zain, the head of the Military Council in the city of Nawa, said that the city did not approve the Russian conditions and is getting ready to combat any attack against the city.

Ismat al-A’bsi, the head of “Dar al-Adel” Court in Horan, said that the second round of negotiations has ended and an on the ground one will ensue, stressing that they will continue fighting against the attack of Assad’s forces.

The “Free Army” leader Qasim Najm accused the leader of “Shabab al-Sunnah” Ahmad al-Oodah of attempting to kidnap him on the way to attend the negotiations in Bosra al-Sham.

In a voice note he said that 12 members of the “Yarmouk Army” were killed on the way to Bosra al-Sham, after al-Oodah accepted to surrender the whole area to the Russians.

 

Pressure on Daraa al-Balad

Assad’s forces are advancing towards the Air Defence Battalion, western Daraa al-Balad, attempting to control it to besiege all its neighborhoods, for controlling the Battalion means cutting off the military road between the western and eastern rural parts of Daraa.

This attempt came a year later after a similar attack, through which they controlled the battalion and cut off the military road, which became under the range of their weaponry. However, the factions managed to recover their positions rabidly and caused a number of deaths and injuries among Assad’s forces troops, seizing vehicles and several weapons and munition.

In the former attack, Assad’s forces opened a military enclave from Sajnah neighborhood, adjoining al- Minshia, towards the rear side of Jumruk Daraa al-Qadim at the Syrian Jordanian borders, aiming to impose a full control over Daraa al-Balad.

Assad’s forces are also trying to capture the city of Tafas, in the western countryside of Daraa, following the factions’ refusal of the “reconciliation”, in a manner similar to what happened in the two cities of Da’el and Abtaa.

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