Russian roadmap in progress | First batch of individuals evacuated from Daraa arrives in Aleppo countryside, while second batch expected to leave in hours
Daraa province: SOHR activists have documented the death of a civilian and injury of three others, after being shot by regime soldiers stationed on al-Saraya checkpoint in Daraa al-Balad.
On the other hand, a bus carrying eight people has arrived at Abu al-Zendayn crossing near al-Bab city in eastern Aleppo, while Russian and regime forces prepare for evacuating the second batch today. These people were gunmen from Daraa al-Balad wanted of regime forces, and they were evacuated to north Syria region in accordance to the terms of the agreement between the Central Committee and regime security committee, under Russian supervision.
Meanwhile, residents staged demonstrations in Nawa and Tafas cities in the western countryside of Daraa, protesting practices of regime forces and showing solidarity with Daraa al-Balad.
It is worth noting that the agreement between the Central Committee and regime security committee also stipulates for the entry of the Russian-backed 5th and 8th Corpses and the Russian military police to the besieged neighbourhoods in Daraa al-Balad and Daraa al-Mahattah with the aim for starting the second step of evacuating suspects and civilians rejecting the agreement, striking reconciliation deals and handing over individual weapons.
Last night, Observatory activists reported that the first batch of gunmen who refused reconciliation with regime forces left Daraa al-Balad, and this was the first step of the implementation of the Russian roadmap. Meanwhile, Al-Saraya crossing was closed after the Russian police and the 8th Corps had got out of the region, but it was supposed to be fully open after the evacuation of all suspects and civilians rejecting the agreement.
On the other hand, regime forces opened fire on residents at al-Saraya checkpoint, which left casualties.
SOHR activists had reported that the Russian-backed 5th Corps established a temporary military post near al-Bahhar cemetery at the southern entrance of Daraa al-Balad. According to SOHR sources, the Russian military police ordered the 5th Corps to establish a military post in that area as a part of the implementation of the Russian roadmap and preparations for the opening of al-Saraya checkpoint, lifting the siege imposed on Daraa al-Balad and striking the new reconciliation deals.
This development came after negotiations between the Central Committee and regime security committee, under Russian supervision, were stalled for 11 days.
Moreover, a military column of the 8th Corps entered the besieged al-Bahhar neighborhood in Daraa al-Balad.
On Monday, SOHR sources reported regime bombardment on residential neighbourhoods in Daraa al-Balad, al-Sadd camp and Tariq al-Sadd area, while several mortars hit positions around al-Omari mosque in Daraa al-Balad.
It is worth noting that the families in Daraa al-Balad, which hosts nearly 40,000 people, depleted their food supplies due to the current siege imposed on them, amid deteriorating medical services and interruption of drinking water, electricity and internet.
Moreover, the humanitarian situation was alarmingly deteriorating in light of the astronomically inflated prices of fuel, as the price of a gas cylinder approximated 120,000 SYL, which equals a double of the salary of an employee in the public sector, as well as the high prices of vegetable, although Daraa province produced a variety of vegetable. Also, the region was struggling with lack of bread, food, medicines and basic essentials.
On August 21, SOHR activists reported that regime forces and 4th Division, headed by Maher al-Assad who is the brother of the Syrian regime’s president, brought in large military reinforcement to the Municipal Stadium in Daraa and the 285th Battalion. A group of the recently-arrived reinforcement, including rocket launchers, artillery units and pickup vehicles with submachine guns installed over them, were deployed in several areas across Daraa. Moreover, hundreds of soldiers arrived in the region in the previous few days, mostly of the 4th Division-backed al-Ghayth Forces, headed by the Brigadier General Ghayyath Dallah.
On the other hand, negotiations on the implementation of the roadmap proposed by the Russians were stalled for the seventh consecutive day, as the residents of Daraa and the central committees in Hawaran saw that the Russian-suggested roadmap including conditions similar to those ones stated by the regime security committee in the beginning of escalation in Daraa, and that these terms did not serve the interests of the residents. In addition, some of the roadmap’s terms were considered humiliating to the people of Daraa.
While on August 18, SOHR activists reported that residents in villages and towns across Daraa province, including Jasim, Heit, Tafas and al-Mezeyrib, staged demonstrations, rejecting the terms of the Russian roadmap’s terms.
The demonstrators chanted anti-regime slogans, expressing their discontent over the siege imposed on Daraa al-Balad.