Late on July 31, Syrian authorities issued a final warning to former rebels in the southern part of Daraa city, known as Daraa al-Balad, according to a number of sources.
The authorities gave local leaders in Daraa al-Balad time until August 1 to accept a new reconciliation agreement. Under the agreement, 132 local gunmen will be expelled to opposition-held areas in northern Syria. Tight security measures will be also implemented in Daraa al-Balad.
Local leaders are yet to accept the agreement. Many of the gunmen who are wanted by Syrian authorities refuse to leave Daraa al-Balad.
A large strike force of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) led by the elite 4th Division will reportedly kick off a full-on attack on Daraa al-Balad, if local leaders fail to accept the new reconciliation agreement before the end of August 1.
The SAA has been taking measures to avoid any backlash from former rebels in other parts of Daraa. Many small checkpoints and posts in the governorate’s countryside have been evacuated. Troops were moved to highly-fortified bases.
Back then, at least 40 Syrian service members were captured by the former rebels. All the captives were released after Russian mediation by the end of July 31.
Syrian authorities are clearly serious about ending the abnormal situation in Daraa al-Balad. The SAA’s new measures guarantee that previous mistakes will not be repeated if an operation to secure the area was ordered.
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