Early on August 15, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled Daraa al-Balad, the southern part of Daraa city, where more than a hundred gunmen have been holding up for several weeks now and causing a serious crisis in the southern governorate.
The shelling was apparently a response to several attacks that targeted posts of the SAA in the town of al-Sanamayn in the northern Daraa countryside late on August 14. The attacks were carried out in support of Daraa al-Balad gunmen. No losses were reported.
Local sources in Daraa al-Balad reported the death of a civilian, Mahmoud Ali Saleh al-Qutifan, as a result of the SAA shelling on the area.
However, pro-government sources said that al-Qutifan was in fact a local gunman. According to the sources, the SAA targeted al-Qutifan and other gunmen with mortar shells after detecting them with a drone.
مقتل المسلح ” محمود علي الصالح القطيفان ”
بنيران الجيش العربي السوري pic.twitter.com/O8fTg8Ct0H
— ملك السلطنه (@jamlyyyyy_) August 14, 2021
Local leaders in Daraa al-Balad are yet to accept the demands of Syrian authorities, which are still determined to expel all gunmen from the area.
The local leaders held a new meeting with Russian mediators on August 15. A new roadmap to resolve the crisis in Daraa al-Balad was reportedly present to the local leaders. The details of the roadmap are yet to be revealed.
The SAA, that has been besieging Daraa al-Balad for nearly two months now, will not likely wait for much longer. The failure of the new Russian initiative may force the army kick off a military operation in the area.
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