Al-Suwaidaa-Daraa conflict escalates: exchange of kidnapping by local fighters from both provinces triggers fears of protracted armed fight
Tension between Al-Suwaidaa and Daraa provinces in southern Syria is escalating rapidly, especially since situations have worsened in areas in Al-Suwaidaa and other ones in Daraa since late March.
Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that fighters from Bosr Al-Harir in the eastern countryside of Daraa hijacked a bus carrying regime soldiers from Al-Suwaidaa and took the soldiers to unknown destination. The kidnappers have explained that this operation comes as a response to yesterday’s kidnapping of a person from Bosr Al-Harir town by fighters from Al-Suwaidaa.
Meanwhile, tension is prevailing in several areas in the eastern countryside of Daraa, and other areas in Al-Suwaidaa countryside near the administrative border between both provinces. Moreover, both sides are in high alert amid public concern that the escalating tension could evolve to protracted armed fight. For their part, the area’s dignitaries exert all possible efforts to easy the situation between the two conflicting sides.
On March 28, SOHR sources reported that Bosra Al-Sham’s gunmen who attacked Al-Quraya area in the southern countryside of Al-Suwaidaa, executed six local fighters from Al-Suwaidaa after being captured in clashes a day earlier. Pictures of the victims were sent to their families after the execution.
SOHR sources reported earlier that morning that tense calm was prevailing the southern countryside of Al-Suwaidaa after dramatic developments in several areas there. Meanwhile, local gunmen in the area were on high alert in anticipation for possible operations in the wake of ongoing security tension.
Developments started in the area ten days ago when a gang led by a man, known by his initials as Y.A., kidnapped two young men from Bosra Al-Sham in the eastern countryside of Daraa. The two young people were taken to the gang’s headquarters in Al-Quraya, south of Al-Suwaidaa.
Gunmen from Bosra Al-Sham attacked Al-Quraya yesterday evening, in response to the kidnapping of the two young men, where they attempted to kidnap people from the area. These attacks were followed by fierce clashes between the attackers and local gunmen from Al-Quraya, leaving ten gunmen of local factions dead and six others injured, while four gunmen of the attackers were killed.
Local gunmen in Al-Suwaidaa headed later to arrest the ringleader (Y.A.) in his headquarters in Al-Quraya, but the ringleader blew himself up with an explosive belt leaving a local gunman dead and three others injured.