Sat 14 Dec 2019

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Syrian Regime Releases Militants Who Once Fought Within IS’ Ranks In Daraa

An IS fighter during the confrontations in al-Yarmouk Basin, rural Daraa – July 2018 (Ammaq)

An IS fighter during the confrontations in al-Yarmouk Basin, rural Daraa – July 2018 (Ammaq)

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The Syrian regime has released dozens of militants who fought for the Islamic State (IS) in the al-Yarmouk Basin, Daraa.

Three anti-regime sources informed Enab Baladi that the Syrian regime has let 60 militants out of prison.

The sources have all stressed that the militants were paroled and went back to their places of residence. The area’s people, however, were stricken by surprise.

The people have expressed their astonishment at the release of the militants, with the regime fearing and claiming the presence of IS-affiliated sleeper cells in the area, Enab Baladi’s correspondent for Daraa reported.

The militants were released, the correspondent said, while the Syrian regime continues to arrest the opposition armed groups’ personnel who have undergone a settlement/legalization of status, after Assad forces regained control over Daraa in 2018.

The area’s residents believe that these militants area released to be utilized later, under the slogan of combating IS, in case the regime wanted to initiate a military campaign against the area to subjugate it to its own power.

In August 2018, the Assad forces took over the al-Yarmouk Basin, western Daraa, which was IS’ last stronghold in the area, via military a campaign, backed by Russian aircraft and settlement opposition factions.

The campaign ended with the IS’ militants surrendering to the Assad forces and the settlement factions, after which the regime announced full control of Daraa province and set up posts along the borders with Jordan and those with occupied Golan.

IS announced targeting Assad forces in eastern rural Daraa, which was the first military move it embarks on after its termination.

On June 4, 2019, the IS-affiliated Amaaq Agency reported, on Telegram, that IS’ militants have targeted a vehicle belonging to Assad forces on the road between Namer and Kherbet Ghazaleh, north-eastern Daraa.

This military operation caused the death of three Assad forces personnel and the vehicle they were boarding.

This operation is but one in a series of incidents suffered by the city, the last of which was on July 17, 2019, where a military camp bus, boarding Assad forces’ officers and settlement personnel from rural Damascus, was blown up, killing five officers,  of second lieutenant and lieutenant-colonel ranks.

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