Syrian regime threatens to storm Daraa within days over arms

Fears after Syrian regime threatens to storm Daraa 'within days' unless locals surrender weapons: reports
2 min read
19 July, 2021
The Syrian regime has threatened to storm Daraa within days if residents do not surrender light weapons, after imposing a siege on the area for weeks.
Syrian regime forces have besieged Daraa for weeks now, leaving only one road accessible [Getty Images]

The Syrian regime has threatened to storm the southern city of Daraa within days unless residents hand over all weapons and allow troops to search homes, local websites reported on Sunday.

The threat was passed on to tribal leaders by the regime's military chief in the Daraa governorate, Louay Al-Ali.

Regime forces are demanding Daraa residents surrender their light weapons and allow Russian checkpoints in the area.

The request was rejected by clan elders and Daraa’s central committee, according to the local sources, who consider it a violation of a 2018 reconciliation agreement which saw the opposition territory handed back to regime control.

The deal stipulated that locals would hand over only heavy and medium weaponry while Syrian troops would return to their barracks.

The province has been besieged by regime forces for over three weeks in an attempt to force opposition fighters to agree to military checkpoints being established and all weaponry surrendered.

Residents who left the besieged Daraa neighbourhoods were subjected to abuse and arrests by regime military units, according to local media reports.

A human rights group warned of "serious humanitarian repercussions" affecting up to 40,000 people if the Syrian regime continued its siege on Daraa.

The province of Daraa - a former stronghold of the Syrian opposition - has been the site of ambushes on regime forces since the reconciliation agreement.

It was one of the first regions in war-torn Syria to witness anti-government protests in 2011, which were brutally suppressed.

Russia's military joined the Syria war in 2015, after the regime suffered a series of setbacks to rebels.