Syria regime send troops to volatile Daraa as presidential elections loom

Syria regime send troops to volatile Daraa as presidential elections loom
Syrian regime forces have sent reinforcements to Daraa province after an officer was assassinated by insurgents.
2 min read
03 May, 2021
Regime forces are frequently targeted in Daraa [Getty-archive]
The Syrian regime is stepping up security across the country before presidential elections begin later this month, an exercise in securing another term for Bashar Al-Assad.

Regime forces have reinforced their positions around the city of Da'el, Daraa, in the south of the country.

Regime forces established checkpoints in Da'el, as troops combed the surrounding areas for potential insurgents, activist Mohammed Al-Hourani told The New Arab's sister publication, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed

Soldiers fired indiscriminately in farming areas, frightening civilians, although no casualties were reported, the activist added. 

The southern region of Daraa has been a hotbed for ambushes on regime forces since they retook control of the area with Russian help in the summer of 2018. 

On Sunday, a regime officer from the 22nd Air Defence Brigade was gunned down by an unknown assailant riding a motorbike. 

Elsewhere in Syria, clashes between the Turkish army and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are continuing. 

Military sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that in Marea district, northern Aleppo province, heavy Turkish artillery was fired at Harbel, Sheikh Issa and Sheikh Hilal villages, which are under the control of the SDF causing casualties. 

The attack was a response to clashes between the SDF and the Turkish-back Syrian National Army in the Manbij and Afrin areas. 

Syrian rebels and Turkey blame the SDF for the killing of a young girl and the injuring of civilians in a bomb blast on Sunday. 

Read more: Syria Insight: Assad begins his re-election campaign

The Syrian regime has continued its crackdown on civilians across areas under its control with sources telling Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that a number of people were detained in the village of Al-Amara, southern Hama province.

Sources added that five women were among those detained at a local security branch. 

The Syrian regime frequently carries out arrests in areas under its control, often searching for people who have not completed military service and forcibly conscripting them.

The regime has also forcibly disappeared tens of thousands of people believed to be critical of the regime. 

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that in April alone there were 147 cases of arbitrary detention with the Syrian regime said to be responsible for 56 of these cases. 

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