Member of the Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) political committee (SOC), Muhammad Selo, said that the Assad regime does not crack down on political forums and cultural clubs only, but also views any human gathering held without its approval as a source of concern and a potential threat to its grip on power.
Selo was commenting the regime forces’ raid on football fan zones in Damascus. He made it clear the Assad regime fears all human gatherings, even if the gathering was for entertainment and recreational purposes such as sports activities.
Selo pointed out that the Assad regime’s crackdown on football fan zones reflects its extreme distrust in the general public as it fears that any human gathering held outside its control is necessarily opposed to its rule.
Local media revealed that the Assad regime’s security forces raided several cafes, restaurants, and public squares in Damascus where people gather to watch the World Cup matches, with dozens of young men detained for forced conscription.
The Voice of the Capital news website reported that since the start of the World Cup on November 20, the Assad regime’s intelligence has been targeting large cafes in Damascus, where young men gather to watch the World Cup matches.
The Voice of the Capital indicated that the regime’s security forces rounded up 35 young men during the match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia. It added that in addition to raids on cafes, public squares and parks, the Assad regime sets up checkpoints in Rural Damascus to detain young men wanted for conscription. It said that the Assad regime detained more than 200 young men at these checkpoints to check their identification papers and compulsory service status. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)