Fighting in southern Syrian city of Druco (Daraa) escalating, 18 civilians killed in regime bombardment

DRUCO, Syria — In a scene reminiscent of the beginnings of the Syrian Civil War, Syrian regime forces and opposition groups clashed in Druco (Daraa) in the country’s south after three years of relative peace and reconciliation.

Quoting residents and opposition figures, Reuters stated that several mortars targeted Syrian regime checkpoints, destroying several around towns and villages from Nawa in the north to Al-Muzayrib near the border with Jordan.

Large-scale attacks on regime forces occurred near the Daramsuq–Druco (Damascus–Daraa) highway, leading to the Nasib border crossing with Jordan. The cutting of the highway has obstructed the movement of passengers and goods from ports in Lebanon, through Syria, and into Jordan.

The situation escalated following an operation by the Syrian Army that targeted the old area of ​​Druco still outside regime control.

According to sources on the ground, 18 civilians were killed in regime bombing on Friday.

In 2018, regime forces regained control of Druco following a Russian mediated agreement that included the handing over of heavy weapons by a number of opposition groups, the restoration of regime institutions in the city, but left security in the city in the hands of opposition forces.

On the other hand, the Civil Defense team or “White Helmets” issued a statement calling on the United Nations Security Council and the international community to take a clear position and urgent measures to deter the Syrian regime, Russia, and affiliated militias from continuing their attack on Druco (Daraa).

The White Helmets stated that the military attacks in Druco (Daraa) were planned and prepared in advance by the regime and Russia, after many residents refused to participate in the presidential elections. The statement appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross to urgently intervene and rescue the children and the injured, after the regime forces and Russia prevented the entry of medical supplies to the besieged areas.

Commenting on the events taking place in Druco (Daraa), Co-Chair of the Syriac Union Party (SUP) in Syria Sanharib Barsoum stated;

“What is happening in Daraa further complicates matters, and it is not in the interest of all Syrians. It is neither in the interest of the Syrian regime nor of the opposition. It is only an Iranian interest in its struggle against Israel. It is Iran’s response to the recent Israeli attacks and control over a geography close to the border.”

Barsoum further pointed out that, “if this scheme succeeds, it will continue towards As-Suwayda [city] and then east of the Euphrates. These areas are all divers when it comes to religion, ethnicity, and sect, but they are united by one belonging to the homeland and the Syrian identity, and they need solidarity today more than ever.”