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Political assassinations: forewarning of a new revolution in Daraa

Hundreds going to the funeral of two former opposition members in Daraa al-Balad November29, 2019 (Ahrar Horan gathering)

Hundreds going to the funeral of two former opposition members in Daraa al-Balad November29, 2019 (Ahrar Horan gathering)

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Enab Baladi – Ahmad Jamal | The political scene in Daraa is in a state of chaos after increasing the operations against the Syrian regime which responded by the assassination of former leaders and members of the opposition. The province fuelled by angry popular demonstrations, carrying political messages to the regime and its allies and foreshadowing a new revolution.

Successive negative events in the governorate varied between security operations against regime members and officers, and recurrent assassinations of former leaders and elements of the former opposition, followed by angry demonstrations against the entities of the regime and its security arms.

 A new revolution and political messages

The former governor of Daraa, lawyer Ali al-Salkhadi, mentioned to Enab Baladi, that the “revolution” has taken a new line in Daraa, with these intensive operations targeting regime elements and their affiliates. “The issue of traitors and mercenaries is still ongoing. Anyone who is proved to have been dealing with the regime will be killed,” he declared.

The former leader of the opposition, Adham al-Karad, wrote on his Facebook page, in conjunction with several operations targeting elements of the regime, on November 27, “Today is the first day of the blessed revolution and the previous years were a preparation, the free people today have a lot of cards that can change the situation and achieve success, they are used successively and the escalation will be gradual in God’s Will.”

According to Salkhdi, the security operations, which have lately increased in pace, send a political message to negotiators in international forums, especially in Geneva. Moreover, the content of that message is that these negotiations are based on the blood of the Syrians and the massacres committed against them by Russia and the regime. “Horan people cannot keep silent in front of injustice,” as he put it.

This is what al-Karad stated on Facebook, “The problem is that the politicians drowned in the quagmire of details and lost the compass over and over. That is why they had to be reminded that the movement will not stop until goals are achieved.”

Al-Karad added: “Anyone who is seeking peace in Syria must stop the arrests immediately and definitely and begin to disclose the conditions of detainees in prison according to a clear and open schedule to the public.”

Retaliatory operations

Al-Salkhadi pointed out that the assassinations targeting leaders and members of the former opposition are reprisals against the regime in response to the security operations that are affecting its buses, headquarters and military and security figures.

“The regime is behind the assassinations of former opponents, which is a retaliatory act of the regime and its allies after its members were repeatedly killed in different parts of Daraa,” he added.

The Syrian regime does not comment on the security and political developments in Daraa, and that is a policy pursued by the official media which is merely promoting the services provided by the regime to the people of the region after taking control of the province with Russian support in July 2018.

Rage-featured demonstrations

 The assassinations of former dissidents in the region have led to popular outrage. This fury included demonstrations, some of which occurred during the funerals, after the escalation of assassinations recorded against unknowns.

The most prominent of these events was the assassination of former leader of the opposition factions, Waseem al-Rawashdeh, by an unknown device, in Tafas town of Idlib countryside, on 27 November. This turned his funeral into an angry demonstration calling for the overthrow of the regime and the expulsion of Iranian militias from the area.

The demonstrators waved revolutionary flags and placards that read, “Those whose law was based on injustice and corruption can only succeed in killing and destruction in the country,” and “Horan did not and will not end, and the day will come when Horan says its last word.”

Soon after, the brothers Muhammad and Ahmad al-Sayasna, two former members of the opposition, were killed by unknown gunmen in the center of the city of Daraa al-Balad, causing the rise of the city’s neighborhoods the next day, in an angry popular demonstration in which hundreds attended the funeral of the two brothers.

In the past two weeks, several areas in Daraa have also witnessed demonstrations and protests calling for the overthrow of the regime and the lifting of the security grip and called for the release of detainees, most notably in the towns of Tal Shihab, al-Yadudah,Muzayrib, Tafas, Daraa al-Balad, Jillen, Beit Sahem, Jasim and Karak al-charki.

Security operations

On the other hand, there was an increase of “retaliation” security operations that targeted officers and members of the Syrian regime in different areas of Daraa, amid warnings of opponents of raising the level of operations against the backdrop of the deteriorating security situation.

The biggest escalation took place on November 28, when unidentified assassins murdered four security members in the ranks of the regime including an officer and an assistant. According to the correspondent of “Sama TV “ Firas al-Ahmad,  Lieutenant Riad Abdullah al-Taleb, from the ranks of ” The National Defense”, affiliated to the regime, was shot dead by unknown assailants in al-Muzayrib town, west of Daraa, and another person was injured.

Al-Ahmad added that unidentified gunmen also assassinated the head of the Air Force Intelligence Detachment, Assistant Izz al-Din Rajab, in the town of Buser al-Harir, east of Daraa, by shooting him in an intended ambush.

An unidentified gunman also targeted the car of a member named “Abu Jaafar”, from the military security, in Daraa countryside. Also earlier, the body of Ahmed Sharaf al-Dairi, from the city of Al-Shaykh Maskin, was found dead, according to Enab Baladi‘s reporter.

The regime’s eastern checkpoint in the town of Sahwa, east of Daraa, was attacked by unknown assailants on November 15. The attack co-occurred with a similar attack on the regime’s security detachment in al-Harah city, north of Daraa, and another attack on the house of Firas and Alaa al-Labbad who are working for Military Security in Al-Sanamayn city.

Naser al-Mitwali was also assassinated in Tafas on 19 January. He was accused of collaborating with the Lebanese Hezbollah. The next day, Hamdi al-Zu’bi from al-Yadouda was accused of working for military security.

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