Assassinations and Unrest on the Rise in Southern Syria’s Daraa


The security situation in the Daraa governorate remains tense with increased violence and attacks despite the earthquakes. Although the province ostensibly returned to the control of the Assad regime in a Russian-brokered deal between Assad and armed opposition groups, the region has remained in a constant state of unrest since the 2018 “reconciliation.”

Anti-Assad and Iranian sentiments still run high in the region and flares up are regular, it’s not uncommon for Assad regime forces to flee the region under pressure from local armed factions or to mount full-scale attacks on the cities and villages to establish control. Tanks, checkpoints and armored vehicles are all too commonplace as are frequent bombings, kidnappings, arrests, raids and assassinations.

According to local activists and the Free Houran League, February averaged nearly one operation a day, activists recorded a total of 27 operations and assassination attempts during the month. The attacks resulted in 15 people killed, 9 injured and 10 attempted assassinations. They’ve also recorded 17 arrests by Assad security forces and 11 abductions, two of which resulted in the captives being freed.

This month a man accused of being a logistics officer with ISIS was assassinated Sunday by masked men on a motorcycle and a civilian was killed today in Saida, a town Daraa’s eastern countryside, Muhammad al-Hariri was shot during crossfire between the Military Intelligence associated 8th Brigade and a group alleged to be involved in the narcotics trade, the Fayez al-Radi gang, which attacked a regime checkpoint in retaliation the arrest of one of its members.

While many of the crimes in the governorate are perpetrated by “unknown parties” many local sources assert that “the security services of the Assad regime and Iranian militias” are responsible for the abductions and assassinations. Activists note that “most of the victims involve opponents of the regime and the Iranian expansion project in the region.”


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