Daraa in the face of the Syrian regime

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The people of Daraa al Balad believe that their persistence and resistance are an impregnable fortress defending all cities in the Hauran region, while the regime fears a repeat in other parts of Syria.

Daraa al Balad, the epicenter of the revolution in Syria, has been besieged by the Bashar al-Assad regime and Iranian militias since the end of June. After negotiations collapsed On September 3, because the regime had broken the August 31st agreement and raised the upper limit on demands, the regime began a heavy bombardment of artillery and heavy missiles to force the population of Daraa al Balad to give way.

In order to buy more time, the negotiating delegation demanded a safe haven on September 3, either on Turkish or Jordanian territory, which according to the official spokesman for the negotiating committee, Adnan al Masalma, neither accepted.

After 76 days of siege, the regime ended its military escalation in Daraa al Balad and, according to a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement on September 6, allowed people to move to and from Daraa al Balad through the opposition weapons, the establishment of 9 regime checkpoints the regime should inspect identities and search arsenals; After that, the regime’s troops will withdraw and the siege will be broken.

The rationale of the regime

Since June 24, the regime had unjustly besieged around 50,000 civilians in Daraa al Balad, bombed the only medical facility and broke the ceasefire agreement signed in July 2018 under Russian auspices. The deal split Daraa between the regime and the Russian-backed opposition, and required the opposition to surrender its heavy and medium weapons.

The regime and the Iranian militias behind it aim to disrupt any agreement that serves the interests of the Daraa people for fear of being replicated in another region, whether in the south or in the PYD. controlled region in eastern Syria.

The regime and Iranian militias are also trying to expand their control over the region and resolve the revolutionary situation that the people maintained after the July 2018 settlement.

On the other hand, although the Russian army has supported the negotiations between the two parties, it shows no inclination to resolve the conflict in favor of the people and focuses on the survival of the regime to which it is linked by many interests.

The regime’s strategy is to starve the people, weaken their resistance, smash the hotbed of revolution and end the demonstrations, separate each of the cities of reconciliation and settlement, and expand the influence of the Iranian militia in the south.

The regime’s intention to impose impossible clauses on the Central Negotiating Committee in Daraa has met with absolute rejection since the beginning of the negotiations.

The Daraa al Balad negotiators have sent a message to the regime and the Russians: Either they formulate an agreement that protects people and keeps them in their homes, or 50,000 people would rather be evicted.

Most attempts by the Russians to bridge the gap between the regime and the negotiating delegation have failed because the regime broke agreements, raised the ceiling of demands, and invented pretexts, such as the presence of terrorists and foreigners in Daraa al Balad, to avoid neighborhoods separate and bomb the region.

The Iran factor

Iran, which leads the invading forces through the Fourth Division, backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah, the People’s Army, the Radwan Forces, the Grand Envoys Regiment and the 30th Brigade, plays an important role in sabotaging the agreements with the Objective to implement its expansion and penetration plans in the south.

Daraa ranks second after Damascus and the surrounding area in terms of Iranian expansion and positioning in Syria.

Fourth Division and Iranian militia forces attacked prominent figures and clans from Daraa on returning from meeting Russian officers and attempted to oust members of the negotiating committee, including the official spokesman, in order to gain bargaining power from the neighborhood.
Iran has managed to delay an agreement in favor of the people and has clearly signaled to other regions that they could face the same fate. Russia, meanwhile, has in some way helped deter the Iranian militias from achieving their goals of evicting and harassing the people by mediating at the last moment and reaching an agreement.

Current situation

Despite the violent military force used by the regime against Daraa al Balad, it failed to break through and gain control of the Daraa al Balad neighborhoods while only bombing from afar. And the negotiating team showed perseverance in difficult circumstances and flexibility in discourse to protect people and prevent displacement and bloodshed.

The residents of Daraa al Balad believe that their perseverance and resistance is an impregnable fortress that defends all cities in the Hauran region. They are working to prevent the regime from destroying the symbolism of the Syrian revolution, the Omari Mosque, and preventing any demographic change that Iran seeks in the south.

The people of Daraa believe that if the Iranian militias achieve their goals in Daraa, they will threaten the security of Jordan and control the Damascus – Amman trade lines. If the regime in Daraa is successful, it will also be dedicated to taking over Idlib. This could weaken the opposition’s position in political negotiations and give more power to countries demanding normalization with Assad and the distribution of reconstruction funds.

Finally, there is no doubt that a number of other factors, including the desire of the Russians to end the Daraa Acts, the failure of the international community to end the regime, the absence of any opposition from Jordan to Iranian militias, as well as the lack of political Horizon for a solution in Syria that will affect the situation in Daraa.

The cohesion of the revolutionaries at the front and the negotiators at the negotiating table, as well as their flexibility towards the Russians, could be an important step in achieving real success against the regime and the experience of Busra al Sham in Daraa. to repeat al Balad.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, positions, or editorial guidelines of TRT World.

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Source: TRT World


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