Local aid associations and organizations in southern Syria began collecting identity cards and family registers a few days ago under the pretext that food supplies would be distributed shortly. However, the true intention behind this practice was to do a headcount of civilians ahead of the elections that the regime intends to hold.
“This is the first time in more than a year that the representatives of those organizations ask for people’s official documents,” Horan Free Media said, adding that the move is likely aimed at conducting a census of the population in the region, especially of those who have the right to vote. Since the Assad forces took control of the region in mid-2018, the city’s records have not documented travel or border-crossing activity in light of the increase in the number of people fleeing illegally.
Horan Free Media quoted a local source from the western countryside of Daraa, who confirmed that data and official documents are indeed being collected — especially for adults, both men and women — explaining that “the Red Crescent emphasized, this time around, that people must bring the documents of their spouses, an unusual request, as the identity card of the man, the head of the family, used to suffice.” The documents are shared with the City Council in each town.
The source said that the regime’s security branches forced organizations, including the Red Crescent, to collect population data, noting that “it is not surprising that the Assad regime would do this, and it is not the first time that we elect members of the People’s Assembly, and the local and presidential administrations without the presence of voters, in this excuse for a democratic process.”
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.