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Dar’a governorate in southern Syria has recently witnessed the fiercest fighting between rebels and regime forces since 2018. The subsequent ceasefire promoted by Russia remains unstable, while the severed Syrians continue to suffer.

At least 15 civilians Be killed At the end of July, the Syrian army and Iranian-backed militia tried to violently suppress Dera, the area considered to be the birthplace of the 2011 uprising.

The main reason for the recurrence of violence was the presidential election on May 31, in which the people of Dera did not participate. Although citizens voted in most areas controlled by the regime and voted for Assad out of fear, the people of Dera organized a demonstration against the government at the Omari mosque the day before the election.

The mosque is still a place Important symbolic meaningIn 2011, the first major demonstration of the Syrian revolution took place near it. When regime forces fought and opened fire, the mosque itself became a field hospital. The army’s brutality there caused anger across the country and triggered large-scale demonstrations in various cities.

However, the rebels were also defeated in Dera in 2018. The subsequent settlement agreement was promoted in exchange for soldiers to hand over weapons to the Syrian military. However, as the main ally of the Assad regime, Russia did not accept the complete occupation of the province by the Assad army because it did not want the Iranian militias fighting side by side with the Assad army to establish a foothold so close, thereby endangering Its relationship with Israel. Israel.

“Dela is the connection point between the land on the border between Syria and Jordan and the occupied Syrian Golan. This special line clearly draws an important Israeli-Jordanian red line to prevent Iran and its allies from spreading and approaching the Golan. The border between the highlands and Jordan,” Summer Bakur, a lecturer in Middle East politics at the University of Exeter, told Al Jazeera.

The lack of Syria’s military presence has led to repeated attacks by the rebels, which has led Russia to demand a new reconciliation agreement to seize more weapons from the people of Dera. But Dera refused Russia’s request, and the Syrian armed forces besieged the vicinity of Dera Ballard on June 25.

Assad’s army surrounded 40,000 residents in the historic district and cut off food, water, electricity and medicine. The route to the city’s hospital was also cut off.

Bakkour said that the strategy used in Deraa has been seen before.

“The Delaware model followed by the regime has been copied from most areas where the regime has increased its control, whether by destroying and using the scorched earth policy, isolating these areas from each other, and then replacing civilians for those who take action. Don’t want to reconcile. And to enforce the “reconciliation” of those who decide to stay, and the young people among them are brought to the front line.”

Bakur said that during this escalation, the Central Committee of De La Ballard met with the Russian general Assad Allah, who played an important role in exacerbating the conflict.

“The most recent escalation is about the people of Dera accusing the Russian army of angering the people, especially the Russian military officer Assad Allah. He demanded that the city put up barriers for the regime forces and search for heavy and light weapons at home.

“In addition, the regime tried to deport five armed opposition figures, including Mohamed Masalma and Mu’ayad Havish, to areas controlled by the pro-Turkish opposition in northern Syria. The fourth division began bombing residential areas. The situation has exacerbated the escalation. The situation,” Bakur said.

The notorious Fourth Division-currently in the area-was charged with war crimes against civilians at the beginning of the revolution.

Syrian soldiers stand at the border crossing between Deraa and Nasib in Jordan [File: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters]

After many meetings between the central government and the government, the two sides reached a five-phase agreement, including the handing over of surplus light weapons in exchange for lifting the siege and ending military operations, although three checkpoints were kept in the city.

However, Bakur said that he believes this does not amount to a paradigm shift on the Russian side.

“The regime forces have stepped up their siege of Dera Ballard because it wants to conquer Dera. However, Russia still claims that it will not directly intervene because it has established its position in Dera,” he said.

However, a ceasefire is unlikely to improve the situation. Although negotiations will continue so that a lasting settlement can be reached, there have been various reports that both parties have violated the rules.According to reports, the Syrian military Deira’s bombing zone In early August, and the rebels Assault on Syrian soldiers A few days ago.

Continued instability further jeopardizes the humanitarian situation in Syria.

“In the past few weeks, we have seen the humanitarian situation in the country deteriorate rapidly. Even if the ceasefire is minimal, the impact of the recent conflict has led to mass displacement, and some attacks are clearly indiscriminate, which means that civilians remain Is in danger,” Sarah Kajali of Human Rights Watch told Al Jazeera.

Kayyali urged that, given the instability on the ground, the international community must at least prevent the Syrian government from weaponizing aid.

“The international community should first ensure that aid organizations operating in Dera can reach all people at risk of hunger, and do not allow the Syrian government to use aid as a weapon in the conflict. We have seen the government do this time and time again in the conflict. . Other contexts.”

If the ceasefire is indeed only temporary, then the forecast of the Syrian people in Dera is still very bad.

“Unless the parties to the conflict respect the rights and well-being of civilians, we will continue to see the situation deteriorate, just as we did in Aleppo, Idlib and East Ghouta,” Kayyali said.



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