Instability Increases as Situation in Daraa Deteriorates Further

Credit: (Mohamad Abazeed/AFP via Getty Images)

Daraa, a southern province in Syria, has experienced increasing instability since the enactment of the Daraa reconciliation deal in 2018. The deal aimed to assert the authority of President Assad over the province and was presented as a means of bringing “security” to the region. However, in the five years since the agreement, clashes between Assad’s forces and revolutionary groups have persisted, accompanied by a rise in incidents of crime, kidnappings, drug trafficking, and violence between rival factions associated with Assad and Iranian-affiliated militias.

According to the Violations Documentation Office of the Horan Free League (HFL), an independent media organization dedicated to documenting events in southern Syria, there were 54 operations and assassination attempts in Daraa Governorate in April. These attacks resulted in the deaths of 32 people, injuries to 50 others, and four attacks with no casualties.

Recent developments have seen an escalation of violence over the past 48 hours, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries due to assassination attempts and bombings. Local sources report that Hussam al-Mustaw, the deputy head of the regime’s Military Security Branch, was injured near Tafas in western Daraa when unknown assailants fired at his vehicle while he was traveling between Daraa City and Tafas.

Elsewhere, several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) caused chaos and casualties in Daraa. Two IEDs were detonated in the vicinity of Jasim, with one causing only material damage and the other killing two regime militiamen in the suburbs of Jasim. In Hajjah, north of Daraa, an IED killed a regime militiaman named Muhammad Fawzi al-Zuhri, while another member named Mamoun al-Zuhri was seriously wounded during a subsequent firefight.

The body of Abboud Nasser al-Basir was discovered in the town of Ghariya. Al-Basir, originally from Suwayda, was not known to be affiliated with any military groups. However, the HFL has noted that many civilian victims of assassinations are perceived as “opponents of the regime and the Iranian expansion project in the region.”

The deteriorating security situation in Daraa has resulted in further displacement and suffering among the civilian population. Many have been forced to flee their homes or live under constant threat. Despite various efforts to quell the violence, Daraa remains a volatile and dangerous place for both civilians and those engaged in the conflict.


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