Syrian government forces and representatives of the residents of Tafs town, west of Daraa in southwest Syria, reached on Saturday a preliminary agreement regarding the tension in the town.
An informed source told North Press that “the government forces and a delegation of community leaders from Tafs reached an agreement requiring an immediate ceasefire and the entry of government forces to search some houses in Tafs.”
According to the deal, the government forces would establish a temporary military post near the town’s hospital, provided that they withdraw after three days, the source said.
A second meeting between the two parties is scheduled for Sunday to finalize the agreement.
The meeting was attended by the head of the government’s Military Security Branch in Daraa, Brigadier General Louay al-Ali, and
Tafs representatives, including Khaldoun al-Zoubi, the most prominent opposition leader in Tafs, defected Colonel Abu Munther al-Dahni and Muhammad Jadd-Alah al-Zoubi, a former leader in the opposition.
The meeting took place in the office of Louay al-Ali inside the Military Security Branch building in Daraa.
In July 2018, the opposition armed faction and government forces reached a cease-fire agreement mediated by Russia in the opposition-held areas in Daraa Governorate. Under the deal, the opposition armed factions agreed to hand over their heavy weapons in exchange for staying in Daraa, and those who opposed the agreement would go to Idleb, which is under the control of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
However, many opposition militants did not comply with the deal and stayed with their arms in the governorate.
The government demands locals hand over these militants so they can be extradited to Idlib and other opposition-held areas, threatening to storm the cities and towns – such as Tafs – if the locals did not comply.
Tafs has been in a state of tension for more than two weeks after the government forces began bringing in military reinforcements to the vicinity. The forces also shelled the town’s residential neighbourhoods and blocked many roads that lead to it.
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.