The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Rising tension | Clashes erupt between local gunmen and regime forces in Daraa al-Balad, while regime forces attack the town’s only medical centre

Daraa province: SOHR sources have reported clashes between regime forces and their proxy militias on one hand, and local gunmen from Daraa al-Balad on the other, nearby al-Kaziyah roundabout in Daraa al-Balad in Daraa city, along with similar clashes on the outskirts of of Daraa camp. Moreover, ambulances were seen rushing to the conflict zones.


The clashes started by machinegun fir by regime forces on Daraa al-Balad, which caused damage to the only medical centre in the town, amid reports of putting it out of service.


On the other hand, SOHR sources monitored the arrival of a Russian column at the headquarters of the Russian-backed 8th Brigade in Bosra al-Sham in the eastern countryside of Daraa with the aim to start discussions and reaching a solution putting an end to the dramatic development in Daraa al-Balad.


SOHR activists documented earlier this morning the death of a young man after being hit with a gunshot yesterday  when regime forces opened fire indiscriminately on the neighbourhoods of Daraa al-Balad. Meanwhile, cautious calm is prevailing in the town, while a new round of negotiations between the central committee and regime forces was expected to start in light of the collapse of the latest negotiations.


On the other hand, a group of Daraa city’s residents appeared in a video clip in which they issued a statement, calling for evacuating them to a safe place, so that they would be kept away from military operations. The statement followed the military escalation in areas in the city yesterday by regime forces, which left casualties.


Last night, SOHR activists reported that the Central Committees which are formed in Daraa al-Balad and east and west Daraa countryside refused the regime’s demands concerning the enforced displacement of some specific people.


Similarly, the Committees rejected the establishment of checkpoints and military detachment in Daraa al-Balad, al-Mukhyam and Tariq al-Sadd neighborhoods.


According to SOHR reliable sources, the Committees refused the regime demands as a response to violating the agreement by regime forces which are threatening of launching a military operation in Daraa, amid preparations by Daraa committees for the worst possible scenarios.


SOHR sources had monitored the displacement of several families from the neighborhoods of Daraa al-Balad to regime-controlled areas in Daraa al-Mahattah for fear of possible fierce clashes between regime forces and local gunmen from Daraa al-Balad. The displacement of civilians from Daraa al-Balad coincided with the withdrawal of regime forces from three positions they had been stationed in earlier in the morning in Daraa al-Balad and Tariq al-Sadd, in accordance with the agreement reached a few days earlier between regime forces and the central committee.


Meanwhile, tension was rising in the neighbourhoods of Daraa al-Balad, along with the deployment of gunmen from the area to confront regime forces, in the case that regime forces started a military operation in the town.


On the other hand, regime-backed militiamen sporadically targeted neighbourhoods of Daraa al-Balad with heavy machineguns and mortars, which resulted in the injury of a child.


SOHR sources reported earlier the arrival of regime soldiers at “al-Shabibah” building on the outskirts of Tariq al-Sadd in Daraa al-Balad, where they were stationed in the building in accordance with the agreement reached a few days ago between regime forces and the central commission.


On the other hand, al-Ghayth forces operating under the banner of 4th Division continued their indiscriminate gunfire on al-Bahar neighbourhood in Daraa al-Balad, which witnessed resistance by several armed young men from the region against militiamen of the 4th Division, who were attempting to hinder the agreement in Daraa al-Balad. Meanwhile, tension was rising in Daraa al-Balad.


SOHR sources reported that the regime-backed 4th Division, which was amassing troops in the surrounding areas of Daraa al-Balad, fired several mortars on the surrounding areas of Tariq al-Sadd and the area of al-Bahar in Daraa al-Balad. Meanwhile, a state of panic was prevailing among the region’s residents for fear of launching a military operation in the town.


SOHR sources had reported that a group of the 4th Division stormed and inspected several civilian houses in the south and east of Daraa al-Balad this morning. Meanwhile, unknown gunmen opened fire on the 4th Division’s members.


After storming these houses, members of the 4th Division stationed on the road to al-Sadd and Daraa al-Balad, where they opened fire indiscriminately on farms around Daraa al-Balad, injuring two civilians.