Assad’s forces have demanded that members of the Eighth Brigade in the eastern countryside of Daraa hand over their weapons as part of the so-called “settlements” they impose on residents in the cities and towns of Daraa and its countryside.
On Sunday, sources in Daraa told Al-Souria Net that al-Assad’s forces demanded that the brigade’s members in the town of Saida, in the eastern countryside of Daraa, hand over their weapons.
The sources added that al-Assad’s forces issued lists of names in the town to hand over their weapons, most of whom are members of the Eighth Brigade, led by Ahmed al-Awda.
According to Ahrar Houran Gathering, the wanted soldiers refused to hand over their weapons and have not yet made any settlement.
“Two busses arrived in the town of Sidon, east of Daraa, at the request of al-Assad regime’s officers, to displace wanted men who did not settle and surrender their weapons in the town,” the gathering said.
The brigade has about 2,000 fighters, led by Ahmed al-Awda, a former prominent leader of the Free Army in southern Syria. He entered into the settlement agreement in 2018, which allowed him to stay in his home city of Bosra al-Sham.
Bosra al-Sham, located in the eastern countryside of Daraa, is the most prominent stronghold where Awda is active with the military forces that remained under his authority, known as the Eighth Brigade. The Eighth Brigade is a formation that has received support from Russia over the past two years.
The rest of the towns in the Eastern countryside of Daraa are considered part of the 8th Brigade’s areas of influence, but only partially.
“Units of the Syrian Arab Army and the competent authorities are beginning the implementation of the settlement process in the towns of Sidon, Kahil, and Al-Naima in the eastern countryside of Daraa,” al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the regime, said.
In July, Russia cut salaries of the Eighth Brigade because of al-Awda’s failure to send his fighters to the Syrian Badia region and fight ISIS. The salaries were then handed over, but reduced by 50 percent.
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.