On February 11, several units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) entered the town of Tafas in the western countryside of Daraa.
The deployment was carried out in accordance with the reconciliation agreement which was reached earlier this week. Under the agreement, former rebels in western Daraa submitted to the demands of Damascus.
The former rebels expelled six troublemakers to the northwestern region of Greater Idlib and began handing over their remaining heavy weapons to the SAA.
The Syrian Arab News Agency said the SAA deployment in Tafas, the stronghold of former rebels in western Daraa, is meant to secure the town and promote stability.
“SAA units are being deployed in the town of Tafas and establishing checkpoints in the town to extend security and stability there in preparation for the return of all state institutions to their work,” the agency’s report said. “During the past few days, army units carried out combing operations around the town and dismantling improvised devices in preparation for the return of the locals to their homes and farmlands.”
The reconciliation agreement in western Daraa was brokered by the Russian Military Police, which have been active in southern Syria since mid-2018.
While the agreement resolves the conflict between government forces and former rebels, it doesn’t address the threat posed by terrorist cells in the region. A better coordination between the region’s leaders and Damascus is needed to contain this growing threat.
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