Negotiations fail | Fierce clashes erupt between 4th Division and ex-fighters in west Daraa countryside
Daraa Province – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Reliable sources have informed SOHR that fierce clashes are underway since the early hours of Sunday morning in Tafas city in the western countryside of Daraa, after a military group of the 4th Division had attacked the headquarters of an ex-commander of “Fajr Al-Islam” faction. The clashes coincides with exchange of shelling, amid a state of panic among the city’s residents.
Meanwhile, regime forces are seeking to capture this headquarters and seize the weapons there, including heavy weapons. This development comes after the failure of yesterday’s negotiations, as the Syrian regime have conditioned the deportation of former commanders and fighters of opposition factions to Idlib and the handing over of their heavy weapons.
SOHR sources reported last night that the regime-backed 4th Division imposed several conditions on the “Central Committee” of Daraa’s western sector in order to avoid storming Tafas city militarily, and they were as follows:
- Handing over of heavy weapons in possession of factions in Tafas city, including machineguns and mortars.
- Deportation of wanted individuals who have refused to struck reconciliation deals.
- Expulsion of strangers from the region.
According to SOHR sources, the “4th Division” and the “Central Committee” would hold a meeting on the following day in order to negotiate for avoiding a military operation in the areas of west Daraa countryside.
SOHR sources reported earlier in the morning that regime forces, including the “4th Division” headed by Maher al-Assad, brother of the Syrian regime’s president, were deployed in the western countryside of Daraa. Meanwhile, regime forces set up new checkpoints in several areas, and brought in tanks and heavy gears, as a new checkpoint were established next to al-Kansura in the town of Al-Muzayreb, while another one was established in Al-Masakin area.
Moreover, several roads were blocked and closed to civilian movement, as passers-by either on foot or those traveling in cars were not allowed to pass.