Mon 20 Jan 2020

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Unidentified gunmen kidnap two officers of Syrian regime forces in Daraa 

A photo for Assad's forces in the province of Daraa published on Facebook page 

A photo for Assad's forces in the province of Daraa published on Facebook page 

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Two officers from the Fourth Division of the Syrian government forces were kidnapped by unidentified persons in the western countryside of Daraa.

Pro-regime Facebook news pages including Daraa “24” said on Tuesday, 24 December, that “gunmen broke into a military headquarters, located near al-Yadudah village in the western countryside of Daraa and kidnapped two officers holding the rank of first lieutenant in the Fourth Division.”

Suwaida news network, a pro-regime Facebook news page, added that the two officers with the rank of first lieutenant, Ali Badran and Ali Ihsan, are from the Latakia province.

Enab Baladi’s correspondent in Daraa stated that the kidnapping was carried out by gunmen in the village of al-Yadudah in response to the arrest of their relatives.

Baladi’s correspondent added that according to the so-called settlement agreement, which was ratified on 6 July 2018 in Daraa, the gunmen’s relatives, who were once in the Free Syrian Army, settled their status with the Syrian regime under the supervision of Russia and joined the Fourth Division. However, according to some sources in the town and those close to the detainees interviewed by Enab Baladi, the Syrian regime violated the settlement agreement by arresting the gunmen’s relatives who are charged with the attempted assassination of an officer in the area and belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS).

The kidnappers required the release of the detainees from the village of al-Yadudah, in exchange for the release of the two detained officers.

The regime did not officially comment on these developments, while its forces closed the road leading to al-Yadudah village on 24 December in response to the incident, to reopen it this morning, according to the correspondent.

Civilians in Daraa and settlement elements (former-opposition figures) have faced frequent arrests carried out by the Syrian regime in light of security operations targeting the regime’s headquarters and its elements almost daily by unknown gunmen.

The last of those operations was conducted on 22 December. An officer with the rank of colonel and four other members of the Syrian regime were assassinated separately by unknown persons, near the Sahim Dam in the western Daraa countryside, according to Sama channel, a Syrian regime-affiliated television channel, and pro-regime news pages.

The biggest escalation was on 28 November, as unknown persons assassinated four security figures, including two officers with the rank of first lieutenant and warrant officer, according to Sama.

Unidentified persons assassinated Nasser al-Mutawali in the town of Tafas, on 19 December. Al-Mutawali was accused of dealing with the Lebanese Hezbollah party. The day after, Hamdi Al-Zoubi from al-Yadudah village was assassinated; he was accused of working with the Military Security.

With the support of Russia, Syrian regime forces took control of the provinces of Daraa and al-Qunaitra in July 2018, according to the “settlement” agreement, days after shelling and military reinforcements which forced the opposition to leave to northern Syria.

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