It is not the first time clashes ignited between regime forces and the people of Jaramana city. Dozens of similar incidents have caused the destruction of property and the deaths of citizens at the hands of the military.
The bloodiest example occurred January 20 when regime forces killed Druze restaurant owner Nabil Ghawi after a dispute broke out when the soldiers refused to pay a bill. The soldiers claimed others should pay for their food, their movement and residence.
They returned to kill.
The restaurant owner paid with his life the following day. After leaving the restaurant, the humiliated soldiers returned the following day, armed heavily, and opening fire and killing the owner. The attack took place in the bustling Al-khoder square, injuring others before the soldiers fled their base on the city’s edge.
Unfortunately, the incident is not isolated. It comes following other clashes designed to subdue and humiliate the city, pushing it to accept regime intentions as it mobilizes its troops towards Ghouta.
Recently, residents of Jaramana clashed with regime soldiers carrying looted goods as they attempted to store them within the city; the resulting confrontation claimed the lives on both sides. Security services intervened, pressuring religious figures to prevent further deterioration, hoping to close the door to endless hostility between the two sides.
Martyrs by coincidence
In the wake of these confrontations, regime brokers visit families of the dead using the traditional method of resolving disputes by offering cheap material compensation, as well as a modest monthly stipend in hopes of containing reactions.
Threats are also often sent through informal channels, thus forcing families to accept regime requests to consider murdered relatives as coincidental martyrs. Ghawi’s murder was settled similarly with his parents, while the regime managed to contain the problem at the expense of the people of the city, paying taxes of forced allegiance by submission to the regime.
Many are doubtful that the majority-Druze Jaramana will join forces to face the regime, as those who currently rule the city are security service-affiliated.
Yet this does nothing to eclipse the disdain expressed by local youths, who publicly set fire to military uniforms in protest the killing of the young restaurant owner. The incident was exacerbated by a shortage of electricity, water, fuel, oil and gasoline services.
At this funeral, no one dared to wrap Ghawi’s coffin with a Syrian flag as it was carried on the shoulders of his mourners.