Latest developments from Daraa as conflict escalates to new heights

Regime militias mustering their forces before assaulting Daraa.

Since early morning of July 27th, regime forces consisting of different groups, including those under Iranian influence such as the Fourth Division, began to increase bombarding the areas of Daraa city. This came in conjunction with attempts to infiltrate into the besieged areas.

These hostilities have caused heavy damage to properties and homes of the locals, with several civilian casualties reported, along with a large wave of displacement heading from Daraa al-Balad towards Daraa al-Mahatta.

On July 28th, Assad’s forces targeted the only medical point in the city with snipers from the Fourth Division making any movements within the hospital difficult resulting in its closure.

Houran Free league confirmed that violent clashes began between the rebels and Assad’s forces, on the outskirts of Daraa camp, as the latter used heavy weaponry to bombard the area.

The sources added that unidentified individuals targeted a military vehicle of the regime forces in the vicinity of Bosra Square, Daraa al-Mahatta. They also indicated that a regime reconnaissance plane flew over Daraa camp, while clashes were ongoing.

Similar violent clashes took place at al-Kazia roundabout in Al-Manshiyya, while the regime’s snipers targeted any movements within the neighborhood’s streets.

On Thursday, July 29th, rebel forces attacked several checkpoints and gained control over them, killing a number of regime forces and arrested dozens. The regime forces also retreated from several of their positions and intensified the bombardment of the residential neighborhoods leading to several civilian casualties, many of them women and children.

Negotiations between both sides continued on Thursday evening and Friday amid bombardment from the regime side. The local authorities agreed to form a unified committee representing all regions with the task of negotiating with the regime to reach an agreement without the option of war. It rejected, in advance, any options of displacement, handing over weapons or letting regime forces station inside cities and towns.

A deadline was set by the regime, for Saturday, for the negotiating committees to respond to the conditions offered by Assad as a prelude to any agreement, most notably the displacement of the rebels to northern Syria, with sources claiming it is likely that the rebels would reject it.

On Saturday, July 31, the regime forces violated the truce agreement they reached with the Houran Central Committees on Friday, regarding stopping all military engagements and reaching peaceful solutions, by restarting the bombardment on the areas with different heavy weaponry, including tank shells. This came in conjunction with massive reinforcements arriving for the regime side.

There were also reports that the regime forces had raided several homes in Daraa al-Mahatta and arrested a number of civilians, including women and children.

Since the 24th of June, Daraa al-Balad has been suffering from a suffocating siege being cut off from all basic human necessities. During this period, there have been several clashes between both sides as the regime sent several reinforcements gradually, building up their strength and establishing several military positions around the area. As the situation escalated intensely, there had been several meetings, on and off, between opposing sides which lead to no positive outcomes as of yet.


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