Daraa’s western countryside, which is dominated by the presence of Iranian militias, is seeing demonstrations against these militias and their practices, as well as an increasing amount of graffiti being used by residents as a form of expression.
On Friday night, a protest in the town of Sahm al-Golan west of Daraa, demanded the expulsion of Iranian militias from the province and the release of detainees in Assad regime prisons.
Families of prisoners also came out to protest in Daraa city, calling for the release of prisoners, and for the tight grip of security to be lifted from the necks of the province’s residents. They also called for the expulsion of Iranian militias from southern Syria, according to the Horan Free Media.
The group published pictures of new slogans appearing on the walls of schools in the towns of Ghariyeh Sharqiyeh and Karak Sarqi, demanding the release of detainees from regime prisons and for an end to the presence of Iranian militias in the province.
Media activist Mohamed al-Sari from the Yaqin Media Foundation, which reports on Daraa, said, “What is happening in Daraa is natural because residents suddenly fell into the hands of the regime, Russia and Iran, and since the fall of Daraa a year and a half ago, residents have been receiving promises that have never been fulfilled—in addition to the bombings, arrests and indiscriminate assassinations, which have pushed people to become fed up with the situation, leading to demonstrations as a method of expression.”
Reasons for opposing the Iranian presence in Daraa.
With regards to the opposition to the Iranian militias, Sari told Alsouria Net that, “Iran and Hezbollah stand behind all the corruption in Daraa. They are also behind 70 percent of the assassinations, in addition to the spread of drugs and hashish among young people. Those who run this trade are volunteers from Daraa who serve with Iranian militias.”
The media activist said that, “most of the demonstrations are concentrated in the western Daraa countryside because of the presence of Iranian militias in these areas, unlike in the eastern regions, where the 4th Division, 5th Corps and Russia are located.”
On Tuesday evening, hundreds of people from Daraa went out on motorcycles, roaming the streets of the villages and towns of Tel Shehab, al-Muzayrib, al-Ajmi, and Yadouda, in the central western countryside of Daraa, chanting against the Assad regime, and calling for the removal of Iranian militias from the province and the release of prisoners.
A few days ago, unknown assailants attacked one of the checkpoints between Gherz and Um al-Mayathen, east of Daraa, which killed a captain in Assad’s forces, as well as two fighters. Before this, a dual attack by unknown assailants with light weapons and rockets on the Criminal Security office and the market checkpoint in al-Sanamayn wounded a number of Assad’s forces.
Daraa has seen repeated assassinations of settlement leaders and fighters, with the Office of the Documentation of Martyrs in Daraa recording dozens of assassinations and attempted assassinations over the past few months.
Following the settlement agreement in Daraa, the districts in the province were divided into two parts, the first under Russian control, represented on the ground by the Fifth Corps, and deployed in the city of Bosra, and some villages of the eastern countryside of Daraa.
The other section is controlled by regime security branches, and its military forces such as the Military Security branch, the Fourth Division, and other pro-Iranian militia—outside Russian military calculations—with their military dominance concentrated in Daraa’s western and northern villages.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.