SYRIA: Protests in As-Suwayda over deteriorating economic situation worsening already tough living conditions

AS-SUWAYDA, Syria – Resident of As-Suwayda city, southeast of Daramsuq (Damascus), held a demonstration on the square in the city center to protest the ongoing deteriorating economic situation in Syria. Under the slogan “We want to live in dignity”, protesters said that a large number of citizens of As-Suwayda showed up for the protests in response to the difficult living conditions in the country and calling on the Syrian government to carry out its responsibility and duties towards its citizens. Protesters also chanted the slogan “The Syrian people are one” to unite all the actors and parties coexisting on Syrian territory.

“We want to live in dignity” is not the first protest in As-Suwayda. Several protests to draw attention to the harsh reality of life in the province, were held in early 2020. Most of the protests came since food prices started rising and the Syrian Pound depreciated vis-a-vis the US Dollar mkaing it very difficult for As-Suwayda citizens to buy food and daily necessities.

Syria’s southwest has been disquieting for the Syrian regime since the regime retook parts of it in 2018. According to the Jerusalem Post, after retaking Qunaitra and Daraa, Assad signed some reconciliation deals that saw some rebel groups remain as temporary enforcers for the regime while Russian military police helps to smooth the way. But last weekend, Assad replaced three governors along the Golan Heights in a shakeup that may be a sign that he has lost confidence in several key governors or that he recognizes a series of security incidents requires a change.

As-Suwayda city is the capital of As-Suwayda Governate and its residents are predominantly of the Druze component with a sizable Syriac Rum or Greek Orthodox presence. The Druze are adherents of a monotheistic gnostic religion and live in Syria’s southwest, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.