Cease-fire agreement reached in Syria's Daraa

Regime forces have been heavily bombarding Daraa al-Balad in recent days in attempt to seize control of it.

Cease-fire agreement reached in Syria's Daraa

A cease-fire agreement has been reached between the negotiating committee in Daraa al-Balad neighborhood in southwestern Syria and Russia following heavy shelling on the enclave by Syrian regime forces in recent days, according to local sources on Wednesday.

The agreement allowed the Russian military police and a security committee affiliated with the Syrian regime into the neighborhood to cement the cease-fire, the sources said.

Sources said light weapons were collected from 34 people identified by the regime.

Under the deal, no resident will be expelled from the area and that the regime forces and its military security branch will be stationed at four points of the area. Meanwhile, police officers will resume their work after they left due to recent escalation.

Moreover, the agreement states that the regime's Fourth and Ninth Divisions will withdraw from the vicinity of Daraa al-Balad and lift the siege on it.

Since July 29, the Bashar al-Assad regime and Iranian-backed militias have launched a ground operation on the neighborhood, triggering clashes that spread across the countryside.

A month later, the Daraa al-Balad Negotiating Committee and regime forces reached an agreement stipulating a partial surrender of light weapons in the hands of the opposition and a partial presence of regime forces. The latter, however, violated the agreement and insisted on complete control of the area.

Regime bombardment of the area and repeated attempts to storm it forced the Daraa al-Balad Negotiating Committee to hold several meetings with the Russian officials in an effort to bring calm to the area.

Daraa al-Balad was blockaded by regime forces on June 25 after residents, including former members of the Syrian opposition, resisted an order to surrender their light weapons and allow regime forces to search houses in the area.

Daraa, known as the birthplace of the Syrian revolution, is home to some 40,000 people and was an opposition stronghold until 2018.

Syria has been ravaged by civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.


Hüseyin Demir