On Monday morning, a Russian military patrol arrived in the As-Suweida governorate to “distribute humanitarian aid” to some areas there. The Suweida 24 network reported that the patrols were deployed to Shahba city and the town of Mazraa, in the western part of rural as-Suweida.
The network added that a group of young farmers had driven out the Russian patrols, as well as a Military Intelligence division patrol escorting them.
In the meantime, the young men rose chants, including: “We don’t want aid from an occupier.” Community elders denounced the appearance of heavily armed fighting, stressing that “those who want to help do not exacerbate people’s poverty through these demonstrations.”
In recent months, As-Suweida has already witnessed visits from Russian officers, particularly to villages in the western countryside.
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As reported by local networks at the time, Russian officers had proposed a settlement regarding deserters and those who had left the military service in the ranks of al-Assad’s forces.
In addition, it was noteworthy that “humanitarian” aid from Russia had reached dozens of families from the governorate.
As-Suweida, along with the Daraa governorate, is the most prominent area controlled by the Assad regime that has witnessed occasional anti-regime protests. In both governorates, the government’s control is not absolute.
Meanwhile, As-Suweida’s new governor, Namir Makhlouf, ordered regime security forces to kill civilians in the streets. Makhlouf aimed to “reimpose the state’s authority” in the governorate.
The governor’s demands came during a leaked recording obtained by the As-Suweida media network, having been recorded while Makhlouf met with a State Security Branch officer about recent security tensions in the governorate.
The new governor comes from the Makhlouf family and is one of Bashar al-Assad’s relatives.
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.