The Druze governorate enters the bloody conflict in Syria. 17 dead in As-Suwayda

The death toll from the As-Suwayda clashes in southern Syria rose to 17, according to Reuters on Thursday, citing activists and media locals.

In addition to the dead, dozens of people were injured following the clashes that took place in recent days between local factions and groups affiliated with the Syrian regime. The Druze-majority governorate has mostly remained sheltered from the bloody conflict that has engulfed the rest of the country since 2011, but has seen sporadic demonstrations due to the serious deterioration of economic conditions.

Rayan Maarouf, editor-in-chief of the local “Suwayda 24 Network”, said the population grew increasingly frustrated and angry at arbitrary arrests, arbitrary roadblocks and kidnappings for ransom by fighters supported by the Syrian regime. As-Suwayda governorate witnessed an “armed uprising”, as described by observers and activists, in which “the biggest of its kind” clashes broke out between local factions on the one hand and groups accused of being affiliated with the Syrian regime’s “Military Intelligence Division” on the other.

The clashes, which continued until Wednesday morning, led to the control of the “Movement of Men of Dignity” and the “Liwa al-Jabal” of the headquarters of the “Fajr Forces Group”, led by the so-called “Raji al-Falhout”. “, which is accused, in turn, by activists of the province and leaders of local factions, of being linked to. In the aforementioned” intelligence “division. The repercussions of the affair date back to last Saturday, after the” Al-Falhout Group ” kidnapped people from the town of Shahba in the northern countryside of Sweida, which was met with counter-operations targeting Syrian regime forces officers. According to Maarouf, the above events led to disruption of the international road for days between Damascus and As-Suwayda, before the two sides reached an agreement for the release of prisoners from both sides. The “Rijal al-Karama” is considered one of the most important local groups enjoying a large popular base in the As-Suwayda, dominated by the Druze.