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Damascus Proposes Settlement in Daraa after ‘Tense Night’

Damascus Proposes Settlement in Daraa after ‘Tense Night’

Wednesday, 4 August, 2021 - 07:15
A Syrian opposition flag is erected at the Syrian-Jordanian border at the Nassib crossing in Daraa province in August 2017. (Reuters)

An agreement is imminent in the city of Daraa in southern Syria, after a tense night on Tuesday, especially in Daraa Al-Balad which saw heavy bombardment by the forces of the Fourth Division, following the failure of negotiations and the visit of the Syrian Minister of Defense to the city.

Sources close to the Central Negotiating Committee told Asharq Al-Awsat that Russian officials called the committee in Daraa al-Balad to a negotiating session on Tuesday morning, with the announcement of a 24-hour ceasefire. The Russians called on all parties to submit proposals for a radical solution in the city after Monday’s failed negotiations.

According to the sources, the forces of the Fourth Division bombarded, in an unprecedented manner, the city of Daraa al-Balad at midnight on Tuesday, amid attempts to storm besieged neighborhoods. The attempts were resisted by the locals.

The regime forces also targeted with anti-aircraft weapons the town of Muzayrib and Tafas in the western countryside of Daraa governorate. A number of shells fell in the vicinity of the irrigation point between the towns of Yaduda and Muzayrib, where military forces belonging to the Fourth Division are deployed.

The violent attacks came after the negotiations between the central committees and the Syrian regime forces faltered. The Syrian Defense Minister visited Daraa on Monday and threatened to storm the area if the army’s demands were rejected.

“We will restore the authority of the state over the entire Syrian territory and we will not allow anyone to bear arms outside the state. Either our demands are implemented or we storm the region by force,” Minister Ali Ayoub was quoted as saying.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Russian officers were upset with the statements and asked the minister to return to Damascus, so he left the meeting.

Local fighters attacked military positions of the Syrian regime in the city of Nawa in the western countryside of Daraa, in support of Daraa al-Balad, on Tuesday night, while youths blocked the Damascus-Daraa International Highway, which connects to the Nassib border crossing with Jordan.

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