Daraa’s former rebels have released most of the Syrian service members who were captured by them during the recent clashes in the southern governorate, several Syrian news sources reported on July 30 and 31.
According to the Horan Free League, most of the captives were freed after mediation from the Russian-backed 8th Brigade, a unit of the 5th Corps that was founded in 2018 for former rebels in the eastern Daraa countryside.
More than 40 service members of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) were captured on July 29 in response to an army operation targeting former rebels in the southern part of Daraa city, known as Daraa al-Balad. Some of the captives are still in the hands of gunmen in the western countryside of the governorate.
The SAA captives were released amid reports of a near agreement between Syrian authorities and former rebels to resolve Daraa al-Balad conflict.
Maj. Gen. Marwan Charbek, governor of Daraa, confirmed that an agreement will be reached soon, without providing any further details.
“Positive steps have been taken to reach an agreement on Daraa al-Balad, it is expected that the agreement will be completed within the next few hours,” the governor said.
Despite recent positive developments, the SAA deployed more reinforcement in Daraa on July 30. The reinforcement included battle tanks, artillery and rocket launches.
The SAA appears to be preparing for a worst case scenario. If the new agreement fails, similar to what happened with the last one, a military confrontation could start on several fronts in Daraa.
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