Syrian regime sends reinforcements to Daraa, prompting fears of further attacks

Syrian regime sends reinforcements to Daraa, prompting fears of further attacks
The Assad regime has sent further military reinforcements to the southern province of Daraa, following a breakdown in negotiations.
2 min read
22 August, 2021
Daraa was first assaulted by the Assad regime in 2018 [Getty]

The Assad regime has sent reinforcements to the southern province of Daraa, signalling the potential for an imminent military operation. 

The regime's military buildup comes as negotiations between local actors in the area and Russian mediators break down, with no progress made. 

"With the arrival of new military reinforcements to the city of Daraa, units of the army began to intensify protection on the international road between Daraa and Nasib border crossing to protect it from attacks by terrorist groups," the regime-affiliated SANA news said. 

The news outlet added that corridors had been opened to allow civilian who wish to leave a safe passage out of the area

The southern province of Daraa was first attacked by Bashar Assad forces in 2018, resulting in the area's recapture and opposition fighters moving to opposition-held northern provinces. 

In the years following the settlement agreements, the area continued to be plagued by gangs who assassinated former opposition members, kidnapped and ransomed individuals, and conducted arms and drug smuggling in the area. 

Many accused these gangs of working on behalf of the Assad regime and Iran; and eventually opposition fighters fought back, prompting the current response from the regime. 

A ceasefire is supposed to be place, but clashes have repeatedly occurred, with the regime laying the blame at the feet of the opposition fighters, claims that have been refuted by local actors. 

In an interview with the Nabaa news agency, a spokesperson for the negotiating committee, Adnan Al-Masalma, said that claims that regime military points are being attacked is false, and stressed that it was regime forces and foreign militias backing them, who violate the ceasefire on a daily basis. 

A meeting between local actors and the regime, mediated by Russia, on Monday, failed to produce any results and that no agreement was reached. 

Iranian-back forces reportedly attempted to infiltrate besieged Daraa neighbourhoods later that evening. 

The Syrian regime has insisted that its military build-up around the besieged areas of Daraa is aimed at protecting the international road, between the city of Daraa and the Nasib border crossing.