Daraa: Tribal dispute escalates into factional conflict in Jassim

A military group from the Syrian regime forces inside one of the neighborhoods of Daraa al-Balad - September 8, 2021 (Reuters)

A military group from the Syrian regime forces inside one of the neighborhoods of Daraa al-Balad - September 8, 2021 (Reuters)


Elders from the city of Jassim in northern rural Daraa called on the city’s notables to meet today, Thursday, April 18, to discuss resolving the dispute between local groups that has evolved into the use of medium and heavy weapons and targeted residential areas.

Enab Baladi‘s correspondent in Daraa reported today, Thursday, that the city of Jassim is still witnessing clashes between two military factions for the second consecutive day, during which civilians’ houses were targeted with mortar shells and medium machine guns.

In light of the confrontations, the popular “Thursday” market was canceled to ensure the safety of civilians from the bullets of the clashes.

Tribal colors dominate the factions of the city of Jassim between factions associated with the al-Halqi family in the northern and western neighborhoods of the city, and others associated with the al-Jalm family in the south of the city.

What happened in Jassim

As a result of tribal disputes in the city, accusations were directed at the al-Jaradat family for kidnapping a young man from the al-Halqi family residing in al-Alia neighborhood in the west of Jassim city, which prompted armed men from the al-Halqi tribe to kidnap a young man from the al-Jaradat family, causing clashes on Wednesday evening between the two tribes with light and medium weapons used.

A leader from a local military group of the al-Halqi family (who withheld his name for security concerns) told Enab Baladi that following the tension that the city witnessed on Wednesday, notables intervened, and the kidnapped were released after both parties committed to initiating a solution through dialogue. However, the intervention of another group led by Wael al-Ghabini (al-Jalm) fueled the conflict after targeting civilians’ homes with mortar shelling, causing material damage.

The leader added that groups affiliated with al-Ghabini entered al-Alia neighborhood today and prompted the al-Jaradat tribe to “break the agreement” reached by the parties on Wednesday.

The leader attributed these events to what he called “sedition” concocted by the head of the Military Security branch in the province, Brigadier Louay al-Ali, indicating that al-Ghabini is affiliated with Military Security.

The leader did not rely on the role of the notables due to their weak position in front of the conflicting factions and saw it necessary to include military factions and notables from the Horan region to end the dispute.

A second leader of a military group from the al-Jalm family said that the cause of the dispute dates back to the kidnapping of a young man from their side by the al-Halqi family, who then fired shots towards the houses of the al-Jalm and al-Jaradat families in al-Alia neighborhood, which led the two tribes to repel the attack.

The leader said that he and other allied groups reject the intervention of separation forces until “the perpetrators of this harm are eradicated.”

In October 2022, the city witnessed armed confrontations between local factions and cells affiliated with the Islamic State organization, resulting in the death of about 45 members, including 15 first-line leaders in the organization.

The factions continue to pursue the cells of the Islamic State organization and engage in clashes and raids in the city from time to time.

Recurring events

The province of Daraa does not lack scenes of armed confrontations between local factions that have evolved after the regime took control of southern Syria in July 2018, in the absence of effective or deterring security agencies.

Among these confrontations were those that took place in the city of Tafas over the past two years between the al-Zoubi and al-Kiwan families, which resulted in the death of more than 15 civilians.

Likewise, clashes in the cities of Inkhil and Naseeb and another in al-Giza resulted in civilian casualties as well.

On April 7 of this year, armed confrontations broke out in the city of al-Sanamayn between two local factions loyal to the Syrian regime, killing about 19 people, including children and women.



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