On September 8, units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) entered the southern part of Daraa city, known as Daraa al-Balad, in order to implement the August 31 reconciliation agreement that was brokered by Russia.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, SAA units launched a combing operation in Daraa al-Balad. Syrian troops are searching for wanted gunmen, hideouts, weapons and explosive devices. At the same time, the troops will establish several positions inside the area and around it.
A unit of Russian Military Police and a force from the 8th Brigade, a unit of the SAA’s 5th Corps that is dedicated for former rebels, were also deployed in Daraa al-Balad.
Under the new agreement, more than 800 gunmen in Daraa al-Balad joined the reconciliation process. The gunmen handed over loads of weapons, including mortar cannons, heavy machine guns, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades and grenades launchers.
Some of the remaining gunmen in Daraa al-Balad are still refusing the reconciliation agreement. Those gunmen will either leave to opposition-held areas in northern Syria or face an attack by the SAA.
Recently, several attacks targeted SAA troops in the countryside of Daraa in what appears to be an attempt to sabotage the new reconciliation agreement. Just as Syrian troops were entering Daraa al-Balad, a bombing targeted a vehicle of the army in western Daraa. Casualties were reported by local sources.
Daraa al-Balad agreement appears to be holding on. Once the agreement is fully implemented, the SAA will likely move to secure other parts of the southern governorate.
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