The governorates of Daraa, Suweida, and Damascus countryside experienced strikes and protests on Thursday morning in response to the call of the Syrian Peaceful Movement group, launched by Syrian activists the previous evening.
According to sources from Syria TV, a considerable number of individuals in the city of Nawa, located northwest of Daraa, shuttered their shops and declared a widespread strike in support of the peaceful movement. This action is a response to the deteriorating economic conditions in the areas controlled by the regime in southern Syria.
The sources further noted that there is a significant disruption in traffic within the major cities of Daraa governorate, with approximately 70% of shops and markets completely closed. This has resulted in a prevailing sense of anger and frustration among the local populace.
Furthermore, reports indicate that in Nawa, a multitude of protesters and strikers have taken to obstructing roads by setting tires ablaze. This coincided with the deployment of regime forces and associated militias both inside the city and its vicinity.
Protests in Suweida
Additionally, since Thursday morning, the governorate of Suweida has become a focal point for widespread protests. Demonstrators have taken the initiative to block main roads that connect towns and villages in the countryside, creating disruptions in access to the capital, Damascus.
According to reports from the Suwaida 24 network, the protests have been concentrated in several towns, namely al-Matuna, Majadel, Nimra Shahba, Qanat, and al-Tha’la. Additionally, a peaceful gathering took place at the tomb of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash in the town of al-Qarya. These demonstrations have arisen due to the deteriorating economic conditions and the perceived failure of the Syrian regime to address the people’s hardships effectively.
Videos released by Suwayda 24 depict the spirited slogans chanted by protesters in Dignity Square. Among the most resonant chants were: Syria is for all of us, not just Assad’s household, and Let them know, those who claim our lives are insignificant.
The recent hike in fuel prices, following a recent salary increase decree, triggered a widespread strike among most public transport services on internal routes within Suweida. This transportation halt has essentially brought the governorate to a near standstill, exacerbating the public’s dissatisfaction.
Simultaneously, as strikes and protests unfold in Daraa and Suweida, Swords Square in the city of Jaramana within the Damascus countryside also witnessed a gathering. Banners held aloft bore the message: We demand the right to live with dignity.
These protests and strikes in the southern governorates of Syria are a response to the call of the Syrian Peaceful Movement. This movement emerged in conjunction with the regime’s decision to increase fuel prices. These actions are taking place against the backdrop of an economic collapse and soaring prices that the nation is grappling with.
Syrian Peaceful Movement
The Syrian Peaceful Movement, a group of Syrian activists, issued a call for civil disobedience and a comprehensive strike across cities and towns in southern Syria, beginning on Thursday. This response was prompted by recent economic decisions made by the regime.
According to Ahrar Houran Gathering, one of the organizers of the peaceful movement stated that their actions are a direct response to the regime’s economic and political policies. These policies have been perceived as attempts to marginalize and deprive the remaining Syrian population, potentially forcing them to migrate. The organizer emphasized that the movement’s persistence will be maintained until the Syrian people’s demands for freedom and dignity are met. The movement was officially formed on the evening of August 16, 2023, and it consists of a collective of activists within Syria.
It is worth noting that the emergence of the Syrian Peaceful Movement follows the establishment of another movement known as the August 10th Movement. The latter’s primary objective, as outlined in its initial statement, is to address the suffering of the Syrian populace arising from the country’s governance mismanagement and the state’s apparent disregard for the people’s future.
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.