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URGENT: Broken Agreement in Daraa Puts Civilian Lives At Risk

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Syrian Emergency Task Force Condemns the Assad Regime and Iran Breaking the Deal in Daraa-al Balad.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a 70-day brutal siege, bombardment on civilians, and mass displacement in Daraa al-Balad, on September 1, 2021 the Negotiation Committee of Daraa, the Russian delegation and regime officers, reached an agreement on the following terms: (a) Stopping shelling; (b) Allowing in only Russian military police; (c) Opening a center to rectify the open files on civilians in Daraa by the regime; (d) Examining the IDs of the resident of daraa to ensure that there are no foreigners; (e) Allowing for the set up of four security checkpoints; (f) Ending the siege; (g) Allowing the policemen to return to the police building; (h) Allowing aid into Daraa; (i) Working on the release of the detainees and providing information about the disappearances after five days of the agreement to this deal.

However, on September 3, “Iran has thwarted what we reached in the agreement we announced two days ago,” according to the spokesman for the Negotiation Committee Al-Masalma, and demanded new terms, including an increase of the number of checkpoints from 4 to 9, allowing Iranian forces to enter the city, and that the residents of Daraa hand over all their weapons. It was clear to the regime and Iran that the Negotiation Committee could and would not agree to the new terms, and it is also clear that “the settlements and agreements are all needles of anesthesia,” as a civilian on the ground has put it.

This new development all but ensures that the Assad regime will have full control of Southern Syria going forward, and that Iran, who already has a dominating presence in Lebanon and Iraq, will gain a stronghold right on the border with two pivotal US allies: Israel and Jordan. The regime and Iran’s latest actions despite the Committee’s dedication to reach a settlement, also confirm what the Central Committee feared and foresaw would happen in a statement released on August 29, in which they indicated that regime forces insisted on dragging the region into a brutal war led by Iranian officers and multinational sectarian militias such as the Shaytan Party, Fatemiyoun, Zainabiyoun and others. They also mentioned that Iran’s ultimate goal is to eliminate the social fabric and create demographic changes.

As a consequence of the deal breaking down, the 50,000 civilians in Daraa al-Balad have requested to be moved to other areas of Syria which are not under the control of the regime, such as Idlib or Aleppo, or to a neighboring country, such as Jordan. Those who will not be able to relocate soon are likely to die at the hands of the regime and Iran.

The situation is still unfolding and further actions of the regime and Iran are still unclear.

Press Contact:
Celeste Brevard
Director of Communications Syrian Emergency Task Force
[email protected]