The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) Office of Strategic Consulting held a panel discussion on the latest developments in Dara’a and the Iranian-backed militias and Russian forces’ crimes in the province. Keynote speakers included activists in Dara’a province, members of the SOC’s political committee, the SOC’s ambassador to Qatar Nizar Al-Haraki, and experts and researchers.
Coordinator of the Office, Ahmed Ramadan, talked about the situation in the southern region and the relationship between the three southern provinces, namely Dara’a, Swaydaa, and Quneitra. The discussions focused on Iran’s plans for demographic change, assassinations, and forced displacement.
Legal expert Hassan Al-Aswad talked about the major events that have taken place in Dara’a since 2017 when the regime retook control of the province. He said that the province is divided into sectors controlled by various actors affiliated with Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime, pointing out that the goal is to enable warlords from the heads of the security branches to accumulate wealth and extort the local population.
Al-Aswad pointed out that the Hezbollah militia is spread throughout Syria’s southern region dressed in the uniform of the Assad regime forces. He indicated that this militia is producing drugs and spreading them in the three provinces in addition to smuggling them abroad.
He also said that the Assad regime forces continue to commit crimes against civilians even after the signing of the so-called settlement agreement in 2017. The Assad regime has detained more than 1,000 people since 2017, confiscated the opponents’ properties, and prevented them from returning to their jobs.
Member of the Constitutional Committee, Hassan al-Hariri, stressed the gravity of the situation in the southern region, adding that crimes and assassinations are continuing, while the regime continues its attempts to sow discord among the people of the southern region.
Al-Hariri pointed to the important role of the wise men in the region in foiling these attempts. He stressed the need for taking political and diplomatic action with the major actors to put an end to the ongoing crimes in Syria’s southern region and ensure support for the popular movement and make its voice heard around the world. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)