Clashes Between Armed Factions and Assad Regime in Suwayda

Credit: (Suwayda 24 / Facebook)

Tensions flare in Syria’s southern Suwayda Governorate, with local armed factions accusing the Assad regime of exacerbating the deteriorating security situation. The clashes, which erupted between the regime’s army and local factions, have spotlighted long-standing grievances about lawlessness and the oppressive and violent role of Assad’s security services.

In a statement circulated by activists, it was emphasized that the security situation in Suwayda has been worsening for over a decade. Issues such as kidnappings, killings, and the spread of narcotics among youth have plagued the region, with activists blaming these problems on corruption and the ineptness of regime security services. According to the Al Rased local network, activists argue that the regime’s recent establishment of a “security checkpoint” at the entrance to Suwayda city is a ruse to link the increased presence in the region to efforts to “control the province’s security.”

“If the goal of the checkpoint is to combat narcotics, then the smuggling route does not pass through the main entrance to the city but rather through (Assad) security points in the northern countryside,” the statement read. Activists allege the true intent of the checkpoint is to restrict the local population and serve the interests of the security services and their affiliates.

The statement further criticized the regime’s handling of kidnapping gangs, asserting that these groups operate with impunity under the supervision of security services. Activists argued that the regime’s attempt to involve the army in local conflicts is a tactic aimed at reestablishing and maintaining its control in the province, in the wake of nearly a year of anti-Assad demonstrations and movements.

Tension escalated as gunfire and explosions were reported in various parts of Suwayda. Local outlets, Suwayda 24 and Turkey-based Syria TV, reported that the Baath Party branch in Suwayda City was targeted with a rocket-propelled grenade, leading to violent clashes between local factions and regime forces in the town of Qanawat. This confrontation resulted in injuries, including to a young man, Ayham Al-Mamisani. Subsequent clashes also erupted near the Baath Party branch building.

The Suwayda 24 network reported that local mediators intervened to temporarily calm the situation and resume negotiations with regime forces. The negotiations are centered on the demand by local factions for the removal of the new security barrier near Al-Anqoud Roundabout, a focal point of the recent clashes. An informed source indicated that there are calls for Russian guarantees to ensure the withdrawal of the security barrier and prevent the establishment of new ones in the governorate. However, responses from regime officers have been mixed, with some calling for calm and others refusing to remove the checkpoint.

A source from the local factions warned that failure to dismantle the new checkpoint, which has become a symbol of the regime’s oppressive measures in the eyes of the local population, could lead to further escalation. As negotiations continue, the outcome will determine whether Suwayda will see a return to “stability” or further descent into violence. As Suwayda remains on edge, the continued efforts of mediators and the responses of the regime will be critical in shaping the province’s immediate future.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here