Bashar al-Assad regime’s forces early Sunday escalated their attacks on the Daraa al-Balad neighborhood in southwestern Syria. The Iranian-backed 4th Division militia group targeted the neighborhood with intense attacks for the first time in four days, said Eymen Ebu Nokta, spokesperson for the Horan Freedoms Community, a group founded by activists and journalists from Daraa.
Noting that Assad regime forces broke a cease-fire agreement reached on September 1st, he said the regime aimed to force residents to leave.
Ebu Nokta added that machine guns, mortar artillery, tanks, and Grad missiles were used in the attacks.
Since July 29, the Assad regime and Iranian-backed militias have been conducting ground operations in the neighborhood, triggering clashes that have spread across the countryside.
Daraa al-Balad was blockaded by regime forces on June 25th after residents, including former members of the Syrian opposition, resisted an order to surrender light weapons and allow regime forces to search houses in the area.
The Horan Freedoms Community said that during recent Russian-led mediation talks with the opposition, regime forces demanded that residents and armed opposition groups surrender all light weapons and allow home searches and the setting up of nine checkpoints in the neighborhood.
The demands, however, were rejected by the Daraa-based Reconciliation Center, which was negotiating on behalf of the residents, prompting the regime to conduct fresh attacks on the besieged city.
In another incident, a child was killed and two civilians were injured following airstrikes by Russian warplanes in Syria’s northwestern Idleb province, according to Syria Civil Defense on Friday.
Firas Khalifa, the media officer of Syria Civil Defense, or White Helmets, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the aerial bombardment killed a child and injured two civilians in the village of Kansafra.
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