On Sunday, unidentified assailants killed Mohammed Bassam Turki al-Masalma (also known as Abu Turki), a leader of Assad’s Fourth Division in the airport neighborhood of Daraa al-Mahatta.
A source in Daraa said that unidentified assailants targeted a car with an explosive device near the park of the airport neighborhood in Daraa city. Abu Turki was inside the car and died as a result of the attack.
Meanwhile, the Ahrar Houran Gathering reported that Assad’s forces were deployed to the area of the attack following the explosion of the Fourth Division vehicle, which was full of weapons and ammunition.
Abu Turki is a former Free Syrian Army (FSA) leader in Daraa. After the Assad regime’s 2018 settlement agreements, Abu Turki joined the ranks of Maher al-Assad’s Fourth Division.
According to the gathering, Masalma “leads a local militia belonging to the Fourth Division, having taken the al-Kashef neighborhood of Daraa as his group’s headquarters.” It noted that Masalma had survived previous assassination attempts.
Last July, Masalma participated in the siege of Daraa, alongside Assad’s forces. He directly targeted residential neighborhoods with anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank missiles.
There were also widespread recordings of Masalma boasting about the siege of Daraa al-Balad, as well as threatening fighters who did not carry out his orders.
Masalma also participated in raids and arrests of several civilians in various areas of Daraa al-Balad, with his group participating in the storming of Tafas in January 2021.
In December, unidentified assailants assassinated Alaa Jamal al-Labbad, known as “al-Jamous” and the “Godfather of Reconciliation,” in the city of Sanamayn, north of Daraa.
These efforts form part of the ongoing assassinations in the Daraa governorate, which have become increasingly frequent in recent weeks. Consecutive assassinations have taken place, from the rural east to the west.
Jordanian officer killed in Syrian border clashes
Meanwhile, the Jordanian army announced on Sunday that one of its officers had been killed in clashes with smugglers on the Syrian border.
“A group of smugglers opened fire on border guards on Sunday at 4 am,” said the Jordanian armed forces’ general command in a statement to the Jordanian agency, Petra.
Jordanian forces responded by opening fire after the shooting, “prompting smugglers to flee back into Syria.”
“The clash resulted in the martyrdom of Captain Mohammed Yassin Musa al-Khudayrat and the injury of three more people, who were evacuated to King Talal Military Hospital, where their health is being monitored,” the statement said.
“After searching the area, large quantities of narcotic substances were seized and transferred to the relevant authorities,” according to the statement.
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.