Deal between Syrian regime, rebels holds in tense Daraa Al-Balad

Deal between Syrian regime, rebels holds in tense Daraa Al-Balad
2 min read
08 September, 2021
Almost 300 individuals had settled their statuses with Syria's Assad regime as of an Al-Araby Al-Jadeed report on Tuesday.
The deal in Daraa Al-Balad is being overseen by Russia [Getty]

An area of Syria's southwestern Daraa city which has been held by rebels and subject to a fierce regime siege has experienced a few days of relative quiet.

A deal reached between the local opposition in Daraa Al-Balad - with a civilian-run central committee - and the regime is currently being enacted, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reported on Tuesday.

This deal was mediated by key regime ally Russia and comes after many previous deals and rounds of negotiations fell through.

It involves people wanted by the regime "settling" their statuses or, in other words, coming to terms with Damascus.

This had been done with almost 300 individuals by the time Al-Araby Al-Jadeed's article was published, according to knowledgeable informants.

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Despite this, the blockade of Daraa Al-Balad appeared to still be in place.

"[This] raises the concern that the regime will again break the agreement and attack the area once more," activist Mohammed Al-Hourani said.

Many firearms have also been handed over by the opposition to the regime as part of the deal, in an operation overseen by Moscow's military police.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed's previously referenced local sources who said that more than 80 medium weapons had been given up.

Others claimed that more than 120 sniper rifles, hand grenades, and other pieces of military equipment have been transferred.

They noted that, in the majority of cases, Damascus is settling the statuses of individuals who do not have arms. They are deemed wanted simply because they are considered to be anti-regime.

Once the statuses of the wanted civilians have been settled and the rebels' arms surrendered, the deal's other terms will start to come into effect.

This includes the resumption of regime activities in the area and the establishment of security checkpoints.

Anyone unwilling to come to terms with regime rule in the area will have to leave for other parts of Syria.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed's sources explained the deal with the regime says these individuals will be prosecuted if they fail to leave.

Despite the relative calm in Daraa Al-Balad, in the north of Daraa province, a checkpoint was hit by armed rebels, killing and wounding regime forces manning it, the Houran Free League media group reported.

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.