Russia Mediates Between 5th Legion, Syrian Regime in Daraa Following Clashes
A Russian delegation met with members and leaders of the Fifth Legion in Daraa in southern Syria in an attempt to ease tensions with the regime.
Two members of the Legion were killed when they attacked a regime state security checkpoint in Daraa’s Mhajjah. The attack was prompted when security forces at the checkpoint assaulted a local, who is affiliated with the Russian unit.
The Fifth Legion is backed by the Russian air base in Hmeimim. Tensions have been high between the Russian unit and the 4th Armored Division commanded by Maher Assad, president Bashar Assad’s brother.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Russian forces soon intervened to end the clashes, sending a military convoy and Russian members of the Legion from Basra al-Sham east of Daraa to Mhajjah where its members were surrounded by regime forces. The regime, in turn, had brought in military reinforcements to Mhajjah in wake of the clashes.
The fighting ended with Russia’s intervention. The Legion was allowed to take away its dead members and three others received medical treatment.
The sources said that tensions prevailed throughout regions where the victims hailed from and where the regime members are deployed. This forced the regime to quit checkpoints in these areas. They were replaced by Legion members.