Sat 14 Dec 2019

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Daraa: demonstrations and attacks more than a year after the “settlement”

A silent popular demonstration with the participation of a member of the Central Committee in Daraa al-Balad November 15, 2019 (Fawzi Ghizlan on Facebook)

A silent popular demonstration with the participation of a member of the Central Committee in Daraa al-Balad November 15, 2019 (Fawzi Ghizlan on Facebook)

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Enab Baladi – Daraa

The revolutionary mood returned to Daraa governorate with demonstrations and protests against the Syrian regime and its security apparatus. While armed attacks return the city to the pre-settlement agreement phase, a year and a half ago.

Demonstrators and participants in silent protest, since the beginning of November, demanded the lifting of the security grip on Daraa governorate and the release of detainees from the regime’s prisons. These protests were accompanied by attacks on barriers, targeting security figures accused of security and administrative failure in the governorate.

The city is witnessing a state of heightened security, including frequent arrests, as well as economic deterioration, which contradicts government promises and Russian commitments that accompanied the settlement agreement.

Renewed demonstrations in Daraa

On Friday, November 15, the most prominent protests in the province was the demonstration in Daraa al-Balad, which was attended by a member of the Central Committee (composed of dignitaries and prominent figures in the province, responsible for the implementation of the settlement agreement), Sheikh Faisal Abazid. Protesters carried signs demanding to lift the security grip imposed on the city and release detainees as well as calling for the removal of “Iranian militias” from the region.

According to photos and videos posted by Sheikh Faisal Abazid,  residents including children, participated in the demonstrations, raising the banners “No interference in our internal matters and no one represents us externally”, “No place for Iran and Hezbollah”, “Don’t expect good in a nation that leaves its people in prison” and “Raise your security grip”.

According to video recordings obtained by Enab Baladi, the towns of Sahm and Gelin in the western countryside of Daraa witnessed night demonstrations on the same day, demanding the overthrow of the Syrian regime and calling for the release of the detainees.

On November 14, the governorate also witnessed demonstrations against the regime and its security elements in the towns of Ajami, Tal Shehab, al-Yadudah, al-Muzayrib and Tafas, preceded by the spread of posters on the walls of schools, mosques and storefronts in Tafas, Dael, al-Muzayrib, Ash Shajarah, Beit Araa and Tal Shehab, calling for the release of detainees and the exclusion of Iran and Hezbollah from the region.

Security attacks adopted by ISIS

In various areas of Daraa in the previous week, security attacks have intensified on checkpoints and security headquarters of the regime. In addition to the continuation of assassinations that targeted figures affiliated with the regime by mostly unknown parties.

On Friday, November 15, according to a video posted on social media, the most recent of these attacks was the targeting of a security detachment of regime forces south of the town of Tell al-Hara, by unidentified gunmen. According to the reporter of Enab Baladi in the region, the video provided no further information about the losses or the perpetrators of the attack.

According to pictures posted in Al-Sanamayn News page and the pro-regime satellite channel Sama TV reporter Firas al-Ahmad on his Facebook page on the same day the houses of two members of the military security branch in al-Sanamayn city in Daraa countryside were attacked by unknown assailants with rocket-propelled grenades. The losses were only material.

This corresponded with an attack by unidentified gunmen targeting the eastern checkpoint of the Syrian regime forces in al-Sahwah town east of Daraa, with a rocket-propelled grenade on the same day, wounding at least one member. As confirmed by the satellite channel Sama TV.

The regime did not officially comment on these attacks, while ISIS, through its Amaq agency, claimed responsibility for targeting al-Sahwah town. The attacks of al-Sanamayn and Tal al-Harah were recorded against unknown parties.

After days of shelling and military movements, Syrian regime forces, backed by Russia, took control of Daraa and al-Qunaytirah provinces in July 2018 under the settlement agreement.

Subsequently, assassinations reoccurred in the province where the Martyrs Documentation Office in Daraa documented 35 assassination attempts, the murder of 25 people and injuring 10 others.

The human rights office stated that among the killed were 14 fighters in the ranks of former opposition factions who had joined the regime forces, and five fighters in the ranks of the opposition who are not associated with the regime forces, in addition to civilians and former leaders in the opposition factions.

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