Tension continues in the western countryside of Daraa, with the failure of the Fourth Division of the regime forces, backed by Iran, on Sunday, in a military operation in the western countryside of Daraa aimed at arresting wanted suspects and displacing them to northern Syria.
Local sources said that the Fourth Division brought new military reinforcements, including tanks and four BM-21 Grad missile launchers, which were spotted coming from Damascus, near Khirbet Ghazaleh, and entered the al-Sharaa checkpoint on their way to the Dahiya neighborhood at the western entrance of the city of Daraa.
Regarding the military escalation in Daraa, Syrian journalist Bassel al-Ghazzawi, who hails from Daraa, confirmed that the Fourth Division is acting on Iranian orders, specifically the 42nd Brigade, led by Ghayath Dallah, who is known for his loyalty to Iran. Groups from the 42nd Brigade were involved in the military operation in the countryside of western Daraa.
Ghazzawi pointed to the importance of the western Daraa region for Iran because it is located on the border triangle between Syria, Jordan, and Palestine, which made it a target for Iran, noting that the regime does not have any security authority over the region and cannot carry out arrests or forcible recruitments. Thus, through the operation, the regime is trying to impose its control and carry out arrests and forced recruitment.
He mentioned that the Fourth Division and the 666 Regiment started deploying dozens of checkpoints in this area since last May, but these checkpoints were operated by the people of Daraa who were involved in the settlements, so they did not carry out arrests or harassment of people at the time, which prompted the regime and Iran to carry out the latest operation.
Regarding the Russian position on the operation, Ghazzawi said that a meeting was held in the presence of a Russian representative and Maj. Gen. Ali Mahmoud, the representative of the Fourth Division, as well as the Daraa Central Committee, which is made up of former leaders of opposition factions and notables from the region. During the meeting, the Russian representative said he was fully convinced of the regime’s version of the story.
He explained that the regime’s account talks about the existence of extremist Islamic factions, including the Islamic State (ISIS), in the region and that the operation’s goal is to eliminate these factions.
Ghazzawi stressed that Russia is moving around in the region and has not been attacked by ISIS, stressing that those who thwarted the attempt of the regime forces to advance are the people of the region who kept their weapons and did not settle with the regime nor agree to be recruited, which led to them being labeled as ISIS.
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.