On November 7th, clashes broke out between Druze fighters from al-Suwayda and unidentified gunmen from Daraa in southern Syria.
According to the al-Suwayda 24 blog, the conflict began when gunmen had abducted three hunters who were traveling between the towns of al-Thaala and al-Tireh in the western countryside of al-Suwayda, along the administrative border with Daraa.
Druze fighters from the so-called “Men of Dignity” group launched an operation in the region in order to capture the kidnappers and free the hunters.
The fighters clashed with the kidnappers west of Kanakir. During the clashes, two Druze fighters were killed and several others were injured. The two fighters, Amer Farag and Taher al-Germani, were both Druze religious scholars [Sheikhs].
The bodies of the Sheikhs were handed back to the “Men of Dignity” by fighters from the Russian-backed 5th Corps, who didn’t take part in the clashes.
The “Men of Dignity”, which was formed in 2014, is known for its stand against the Damascus government. The group, however, have never attacked the Syrian Arab Army.
During September, 16 Druze fighters were killed and at least 63 others were injured when the “Men of Dignity” launched a failed attack on the 5th Corps in western Daraa.
The growing influence of local armed groups in southern Syria is slowly destabilizing the region. In the last few months, dozens of attacks took place in the region. Criminal activities are also on the raise there.
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