In the city of Jassim, north of Daraa, elders and leaders have failed to reach an agreement with Assad regime officers to end the escalation in the region. The failure followed a meeting between the two parties at the city’s cultural center.
Activists said the city’s representatives met with the head of the criminal military security branch, Louay al-Ali, accompanied by Daraa governor Louay Kharita, on Wednesday afternoon, without making any progress.
The meeting took place at the city’s cultural center because the city’s representatives refused to travel to Daraa city, anticipating treachery by the Assad regime. This suspicion springs from the assassination of the leader Khaldoun al-Zoubi and four of his companions about two weeks ago, which happened as they returned from a meeting with Ali in the city of Daraa. Earlier, members of the Daraa Central Committee were assassinated on the Damascus-Daraa road in 2020.
According to Shaam Network’s exclusive sources, the representatives insisted on entering the cultural center with personal weapons. Ali initially refused this demand and then reluctantly agreed.
According to the same sources, the meeting lasted only 20 minutes without reaching any agreement. The regime officers demanded that the representatives of the city expel “outsiders” from the city, which prompted Jassim’s representatives to deny the presence of any outsiders. They also denied the entry of regime forces to arrest any outsiders if they are present.
The residents of Jassim stated in response to the latest developments, saying: “We inform our people throughout the Ahrar Horan Gathering that we did not mind entering into negotiations inside the city of Jassim with the parties that requested the negotiation to achieve a good outcome.”
They stressed in the statement that “a group of our sons, for this purpose, went to the cultural center. In this regard, we want to emphasize that the city of Jassim stands as one behind this negotiating team, who today serve as honest representatives of their families.”
Assad’s forces had brought military reinforcements to several locations near Jassim a few days earlier and established new military checkpoints. The regime invokes the pretext of the presence of ISIS cells in the city, which the city’s representatives continue to deny, to justify these actions.
Assad’s forces are afraid to enter Jassim, as they have not entered the city since the 2018 settlement agreement.
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.