Deal to end Daraa siege crumbles after two 'wanted persons' refuse displacement

Deal to end Daraa siege crumbles after two 'wanted persons' refuse displacement
The two individuals who refused to go were at the forefront of those the Syrian regime sought to displace, according to a media group spokesman.
2 min read
25 August, 2021
Daraa Al-Balad is part of southwestern Daraa city [Getty]

A deal reached with local rebels to end the Syrian regime's siege of the Daraa Al-Balad neighbourhood in the southwestern city of Daraa has crumbled after two of ten persons wanted by the Assad regime refused to be expelled from the area, a local media spokesperson has told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The pair backed out of  complying with the order just before a bus was to take them away, said Abu Mahmoud Al-Hourani, a spokesman for the Houran Free League media group.

A bus carrying the remaining eight departed from Daraa Al-Balad on Wednesday morning, Al-Hourani said.

The bus had reached the Abu Al-Zandin crossing in the city of Al-Bab in Aleppo province, on the edge of the part of Syria held by Turkey and Turkish-backed rebels.

Their final destination is not clear, though journalist and rights activist Omar Al-Hariri claimed on Tuesday that "buses carrying a few fighters left to [the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham Sunni extremist] control[ed] area in NW Syria".

It was not immediately possible to tell whether the bus carrying the eight from Daraa Al-Balad was among them.


The expulsion of the ten from Daraa Al-Balad was part of a deal meant to end the siege of the neighbourhood.

Rebel-held Daraa Al-Balad has been besieged since late June, following the locals' refusal to accept the country's sham presidential vote, which again returned dictator Bashar Al-Assad as leader.

Assad's ally Russia has stepped in to push for a deal.

The Russian military police and local leaders, who are organised into a central committee, will likely finalise discussions on concluding another deal on Wednesday, Al-Horani said.

Assad's forces have, since the previous arrangement fell through, restarted their siege.

This includes Daraa Al-Balad, Al-Sad Road, and the local refugee camps, local media campaigner Youssef Al-Musleh explained to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The activist also said Russian-backed Eighth Brigade forces and Moscow's military police pulled back from the Al-Saraya checkpoint.

This is located between the blockaded parts of the city and the Daraa Al-Mahatta area.

Fighting in Daraa Al-Balad between Assad's army and Iran-backed fighters, and locals, including rebels, was stopped by Russia's military police and the Moscow-aligned Fifth Corps.

They also put an end to the bombing being carried out against the blockaded areas.

There was no mention of what would happen to personal firearms, the main bone of contention in reaching a deal of late.