Suweida residents fear reprisals as Syrian regime forces deployed

Suweida residents fear reprisals as Syrian regime forces deployed
Residents of Syria's southern city of Suweida fear regime retaliation after anti-government protests in the area on Sunday resulted in two deaths after authorities opened fire on demonstrators.
2 min read
05 December, 2022

Residents of Syria’s southern city of Suweida are in a state of worrisome anticipation as fears surrounding regime retaliation after a mass-protest increase, according to reports.

After a regime crack down on an anti-government protest in the city on Sunday, authorities regained control of the governorate building – which protestors stormed – and stationed additional forces in nearby areas, The New Arab’s Arabic language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Regime forces opened fire on the protest, leaving two dead and 18 injured, as activists called for the fall of the regime.

Numerous gunshots and two explosions have been heard from areas where regime forces are deployed, local sources say, stating they believe this to be a regime fear-tactic. 

Some citizens in the area also refused to send their children to schools on Monday due to fears a similar outburst of violence could occur again at any given moment.

Among those who demonstrated on Sunday, some explained they didn't agree with activists' storming of the governorate building.

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"I was among the demonstrators, and I demanded electricity, fuel, water, and accountability for the corrupt, but I stood up to them when they started storming the governorate building. We are demonstrating for our rights, we’re not vandals," Orwa Sharaf told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

However, some protesters who entered the building stood by their actions.

“These institutions belong to the government and have never belonged to the people. They are centers for planning and conspiring against the people, and they are not more important than a citizen who dies of starvation.” cold and thirsty,”  an activist who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

As a Druze-majority city, Suweida has mostly been able to avoid the horrors of Syria’s ongoing civil war, which began in 2011 and has seen over 500,000 people die -  largely at the hands of President Bashar al-Assad's forces and ally Russia.

However, it has seen periodic unrest, including anti-corruption protests, in recent years as areas controlled by the regime experience deteriorating economic and living