The Damascus governorate has begun efforts to clean up the streets of provinces and cities under its control, one day before the “presidential elections” on May 26.
Since Tuesday morning, Al-Etihad Press has monitored the movement of trucks and workers in Damascus Governorate and municipal councils. The trucks cleaned the streets and removed trash piles, which are usually scattered on the roads.
An exclusive source said that the authorities had issued a circular requiring that the streets be cleaned around the clock until the end of the “election” period.
The Damascus government has tried to portray a “civilized” image for almost a week through clean-up campaigns, reduced hours of electricity rationing, and trying to decrease the dollar exchange rate ahead of the elections. The purported motive is to ensure “wider participation in the elections,” whose legitimacy has been rejected locally and internationally.
The Syrian coastal city of Lattakia has witnessed an intense security presence two days before the “presidential elections.”
Some city residents believe that the security presence is intended to maintain security during the elections; others have suggested that this deployment aims to pressure residents into participating in the elections, which the opposition describes as “performative.”
On Monday evening, Lattakia’s 7th Project neighborhood saw an attack on a young male internally displaced person from the city of Aleppo. The man was attacked due to his views and political position concerning the Syrian government and the elections.
According to an al-Etihad Press correspondent, unidentified attackers assaulted 26-year-old Mohammed al-Ankari at 8:30 p.m. in the 7th Project neighborhood in central Lattakia. The perpetrators capitalized on an electricity cut in the area when neighbors would not notice. The attack resulted in a broken left hand and minor head injuries.
A friend of Mohammed told Al-Ittihad Press that his friend [Mohammed] had recently received death threats, during daily Facebook messages from a fake account, in addition to insults directed at him and his family. The threats occurred due to knowledge of Mohammed’s political orientation.
Activists from the Popular Movement and the Syrian Revolution Coordinators’ Union called for central protests in several regions of northwestern Syria on Wednesday, under the slogan “Neither Assad nor his elections are legitimate,” according to the Baladi News network.
Several northern Syrian cities have seen significant responses to these calls to action. The largest responses will occur in the Seven Seas Square in central Idlib city, in “Freedom Square” in central Azaz city in the northern Aleppo countryside, and several other locations in northwestern Syria.
The plans included decorating and equipping demonstration sites and providing and sewing more than 1,000 revolutionary flags. A private transport company also announced that it would offer free transport to civilians from all areas to help them reach the protest sites.
On Monday, a large-scale protest occurred in Jarablus, a rural town in eastern Aleppo, in opposition to the elections. Protesters there described the elections as a charade.
On Monday, May 24, unknown perpetrators in the Suweida governorate removed images of candidates for Syria’s so-called presidential election.
According to local news network al-Suweida 24, unknown perpetrators shredded and removed the images of the so-called candidates, who on Wednesday, May 26 will participate in Syria’s so-called presidential election charade.
On Tuesday, hundreds of shops in rural Daraa countryside closed to signify the people’s rejection of the Assad regime’s “elections”, which will start on Wednesday.
According to the Ahrar Hauran Group, most shops were closed today in Nawa city, after calls by the city’s residents for a strike and shop closures.
Nawa is one of the largest cities in the Daraa Governorate. It is littered with security branches, including air defense and military intelligence, through its security headquarters and detachments. The Ahrar Houran Group said that, from the west, Nawa is surrounded to the west by Tel Al-Jabiyah, a military command center for the regime forces’ 61st Brigade.
In the town of Sidon, east of Dara’a, most markets, and shops were also closed to protest the coercion of civilians to take part in pro-Assad marches.
The city of al-Hrak, in the eastern countryside of Dara’a, has experienced a near-total standstill of traffic. Young people have closed both roads connecting al-Hrak to cities and towns of Izraa, Naamer, and Melihit al-Atash. Meanwhile, 80 percent of al-Hrak’s shops were closed, and trade was confined to essential shops only, the Ahrar Houran Group said.
Dozens of shops were closed in the western city of Tafas in rural Dara’a, out of solidarity with the other cities and towns that have rejected the elections.
In other news, on Monday night (May 24) the pro-regime “Popular Resistance” militia shared secret leaflets in the eastern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor countryside, which called for electing President Bashar al-Assad to a fourth term.
Al-Jisr website reported that the so-called pro-regime “Popular Resistance” militia secretly left leaflets outside shops in some parts of the eastern Deir-ez-Zor countryside.
According to the website, the leaflets call for solidarity with the regime’s head, a unified Syria under al-Assad’s rule, and the expulsion of the American occupation from Syria.
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.