Regime bombardment in Syria’s Daraa claims one victim

Regime bombardment in Syria’s Daraa claims one victim
Artillery continues to rain down on rebel-held Daraa, as residents fear a large-scale regime bombardment.
2 min read
19 June, 2018
Rebel-held Daraa has been devastated by regime bombardment, which may get much worse [Getty]
A civilian was killed and others wounded on Monday night as the Syrian regime bombarded the southern province of Daraa with artillery fire.

The strikes hit the town of al-Hara, which has been the focus of much of the regime's attacks in recent days, amid speculation that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are set to launch a large-scale military campaign against the opposition-held area.

Local sources told The New Arab that a battalion of regime forces targeted the south central neighbourhood of al-Hara with artillery shells, killing one person and injuring three others.

Seven more civilians, including a five-year-old boy, were killed as they celebrated the festival of Eid last week by paying respects to family members in the local graveyard. Dozens more were injured.

Damascus announced at the end of May it will fight rebels - or "terrorists" as the regime labels opposition fighters - in Daraa, despite Washington's warning it would take "firm and appropriate" measures against a new offensive in the province.

Regime forces dropped hundreds of leaflets on the rebel-held enclave, which is considered "the cradle of the Syrian revolution". The pamphlets warned of an imminent offensive and urged anti-Assad fighters to disarm.

The Syrian war began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.