Sun 12 Jul 2020

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Meeting results in expansion of Syrian regime control over rural Daraa

A demonstration in the square of Al-Omari Mosque in Daraa city (Horan Free League)

A demonstration in the square of Al-Omari Mosque in Daraa city (Horan Free League)

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Syrian regime officers met with figures from Daraa’s “Central Committee” to speak about conditions in rural western Daraa after recent events there. 

An Enab Baladi correspondent in Daraa reported that the meeting took place on Monday, and included Ghiath Dalla, commander of the “al-Ghaith Forces” within the Fourth Division, as well as the committee’s security head Hussam Louqa and the head of the military security branch, Louay al-Ali. 

The meeting ended with an agreement to reinforce the regime-run Fourth Division’s roadblocks in rural western Daraa, as well as the roadblock in Masaken Jilleen, which was under the control of military security before it was attacked in March. 

The regime officers carried out a patrol encompassing the Fourth Division’s points up to the Zeizoun and al-Saaqah military camps.

A former Free Syrian Army leader who attended the meeting said that the Fourth Division’s leadership described the current checkpoints as “lax and not committed to full-time duty and that they are in the process of reinforcing the barriers with new Fourth Division personnel.” 

The agreement is considered an expansion of the Syrian regime’s authority in rural western Daraa, by supporting its checkpoints there. 

Recent weeks have seen tension in the area amid attacks on regime checkpoints, prompting the regime to send Fourth Division military reinforcements from Damascus, including military vehicles and personnel. 

This led to tension among residents, and fears that these forces could undertake military action that could send the area into chaos and open warfare, upending the “resettlement” process that had been guaranteed by the Russians. 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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