Home Human Rights Journalism Up To 11 Killed As Syrian Regular Forces and Their Allies Violate Ceasefire Agreement While Negotiations Are Underway in Daraa Province

Up To 11 Killed As Syrian Regular Forces and Their Allies Violate Ceasefire Agreement While Negotiations Are Underway in Daraa Province

Shelling Occurred in the East Countryside of Daraa During July 1, 2018 and July 6th

by wael.m
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At least 11 persons killed, including women and children, when the Syrian regular forces and their allies shelled many areas in Daraa province- South Syria from July 1, 2018 to July 6th, during the period of the beginning of negotiations and reaching a final agreement regarding the fate of these areas. The shelling was a breach to the ceasefire deal and calm announced by the negotiating parties.

On July 6, 2018, Um al-Mayathen town was exposed to an airstrike believed to be from Russian warplanes killing a volunteer in the Syrian Civil Defense. In addition, Saida town was subjected to airstrikes by Syrian/Russian aircrafts killing four children and two women.

On July 4, 2018, one person was killed as a result of barrel bombs shelling, the Syrian Civil Defense reported, and counted shelling with ground-to-ground missiles on armed opposition factions-controlled Daraa city, plus aerial bombardment on towns of Tafas, Saida, Um al-Mayathen, Yadoda, and al-Nouaima. 

Image of the dead Suleiman Mohammed al-Mofa'alani.
Photo credit: Syrian Civil Defense

For its part, Daraa Martyrs published the toll of deaths as a result of shelling by the Syrian regular forces and Russia during the negotiations, and verified the death of four civilians on July 6, 2018, as well as eight others as a result of attacking the east countryside of Daraa province on June 5th, plus three civilians, including one woman, as a result of aerial bombardment on the east countryside on June 2nd, and six civilians including three women in similar attack on July 1st

STJ's field researcher said the fast control by the  Syrian regular forces on towns and cities of the east countryside and the absence of the Internet connection complicated filming and documenting the whole attacks and the killed in the region. Besides the majority of the local activists and media persons were, and are still, pursued by the regime forces. the residents in the regime forces-held areas fear to post any information concerning the number of the dead or finding bodies of whole families under the rubble.

Ibrahim al-Jabawi, the spokesperson of the Central Operation Room that had talks with the Russian delegation concerning the eastern countryside of Daraa province, said in an interview with STJ on July 11, 2018, that the shelling occurred, while negotiations were underway, is a breach to all agreements concluded with the Russian side. A ceasefire agreement and a calm were announced during the negotiations but the regime forces and the Russian forces carried out the shelling.  

"the talks were not talks in the real sense of the word, just conditions and decisions under threat to opposition factions; they said you either accept the terms otherwise we kill you. No hearing of the other negotiating party i.e. the factions delegation was afforded." Al-Jabawi added.  

Images taken from the official channel "Telegram" of the Central Operation Room- south Syria that
contain Syrian armed opposition factions (the Free Syrian Army-FSR and Islamic factions).

The negotiations regarding the fate of the eastern countryside of Daraa had started June 30, 2018, when a committee of civil and military personalities was composed to negotiate with a Russian delegation on the handover of the region, but the civil personalities withdrew after one round of talks on July 1, 2018, whereas the representatives of the military factions went on with the talks. However, on July 4, 2018, they announced the failure of the negotiations via Telegram Application of the Central Operation Room in the south. The Syrian/Russian forces resumed targeting the eastern countryside and ground hostilities continued until negotiations started again on July 6th and both parties reached an agreement providing.

A ceasefire, the opposition factions hand over their heavy weapons gradually in exchange for the Syrian regular forces to withdraw from both towns of al-Giza and al-Musayfrah and from both villages of al-Sahwah and al-Kiheel, the return of the displaced people with a Russian guarantee, and the regime and Russian forces will capture the entire borders with Jordan along with the border crossing of Nasib and the Military Road[1], in addition to the junction points of Khalid Bin al-Walid Group that pledged allegiance with the Islamic State/Daesh, west of Daraa.

The agreement also stipulated the return of the government institutions and the staff and reactivating them under the control of the Syrian regime and raising the Syrian regime's flag while the town and its management remain under the control of the 5th Legion, established by Russia that does not allow foreign militias to enter Daraa, the people and military factions who reject the agreement would be "allowed" to head out towards Idlib province located in the north countryside of Syria, and a settlement of the status of those wanted for the regular forces would be conducted, and six months period will be given for the defectors of the mandatory military service as well as those who fled the military service to join it again. 

Concerning the factions that signed the agreement they are Shaba al-Sunnah Forces under the commander of Ahmad al-Owda in its areas of control from al-Sweida province to Nasib Border Crossing, al-Bunyan al-Marsous Operation Headquarter in its areas of control from Nasib border crossing to Kharab al-Shahem village, and Jaysh al-Thawra (the Revolutionary Army) in its areas of control from Kharab al-Shahem to Nawa city.

But the factions in control of northwestern Daraa (From Nawa to Muthallath al-Mawt "the triangle of death " and the borders with Golan) did not sign the agreement.

Copy of the ceasefire agreement concluded among factions in south of Syria and the Syrian regime/Russian side.

Hostilities started in Daraa by the Syrian regular forces and their allies on June 15, 2018, killing dozens and displacing tens of thousands towards the Jordanian border and the border line with the occupied Syrian Golan. United Nations expressed deep concern on the displacement of 320,000 people amidst the denial of the Jordanian government to open its border for the displaced and allow access of simple aids to them. Later, the Syrian regular forces managed to control the entire border line with Jordan. STJ had already published detailed reports on the operations.   

 


[1] The only road links both the eastern and western countryside of Daraa province and links Nasib town with al-Sweida as well.

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