Military and Security DevelopmentsSyria

Government shells, anti-government factions attack checkpoints in Syria’s Daraa

DARAA, Syria (North Press) – During an attempt to retrieve the bodies of their members, both the Fourth and Ninth Brigade of the Syrian government forces attacked local groups in Daraa al-Balad, on Thursday.

Since early Thursday, neighborhoods of Daraa al-Balad have been witnessing intensive indiscriminate shelling with rocket launchers, while areas including al-Sad Road neighborhood, al-Bahhar, Daraa Camp, and al-Karak were targeted with mortars and anti-aircraft weapons.

Meanwhile, local groups in Daraa al-Balad managed to kill and arrest a number of the government forces, who have been trying to break into the besieged area since the early morning.

This military escalation comes after the failure in reaching an agreement to deploy forces of the Eighth Brigade of Daraa’s governorate people in the three agreed upon military posts in the neighborhoods of Daraa al-Balad.

Meanwhile, people of the town of Saida, east Daraa, attacked the military security’s al-Masaken checkpoint and arrested all the members.

Additionally, reports spread news about the killing of several government forces and wounding others in al-Qoba in Daraa al-Balad.

Local groups of Daraa al-Balad blew up a government tank on the eastern road of al-Sad, killing and wounding more government soldiers.

Moreover, local fighters took control over a checkpoint in the town of Kiheel, east Daraa, and arrested its members.

Meanwhile, armed factions and groups from the eastern countryside of Daraa threatened to attack the government checkpoints in the area if they did not evacuate them.

In conjunction with the violent clashes against the outskirts of Daraa al-Balad, Daraa Camp, and al-Sad Road, the Eighth Brigade sent a military convoy headed by Ahmad al-Awda to Daraa al-Balad without revealing the purpose of his mission.

On Thursday at dawn, several government checkpoints in both the eastern and western countryside of Daraa witnessed heavy shelling with machineguns.

Last night, activists, notables, and leaders of anti-government local factions in Daraa called for a general strike and civil disobedience throughout Daraa to support the residents of Daraa al-Balad city, after the government shelling.

As a result of the government shelling against the neighborhoods of Daraa al-Balad, two civilians were killed after confirming the killing of the young man Yazan Adnan al-Mutlaq al-Muhaisen al-Mahamid.

“Events represented by the local community, notables of the city, and leaders of anti-Damascus government local groups released a statement calling for a general strike and civil disobedience on Thursday,” said Mahmud al-Masri (a pseudonym), a member of a local faction in Daraa al-Balad.

The strike “will continue until the unjust siege on the residents of the city of Daraa Al-Balad is lifted,” al-Masri said.

“The 4th Armored Division, which is supported by the government security, and its militias and Hezbollah closed both al-Saray and al-Suhkna routes that leads into the city of Daraa al-Balad,” he added.

According to al-Masri, consequently, all four routes to Daraa are completely closed.

On Thursday at dawn, government forces evacuated all military checkpoints in the eastern countryside of Daraa, including three of the Air Force Intelligence.

They evacuated the checkpoints for fear of being attacked by local anti-government factions stationed in the eastern countryside of Daraa in the event of a decision to storm the Daraa al-Balad, a government military source who preferred to remain anonymous told North Press.

Reporting by Sami al-Ali

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