Since things are escalating in Daraa, the Syrian Journalists’ Association warned that 11 journalists are under threat in southern Syria and it called for complete protection and guarantees.
The Syrian Journalists’ Association issued a statement saying that: ‘The escalating situation in southern Syria, especially in Daraa, made about 11 journalists, media activists and media service providers under threat after the forces of the Syrian regime and its supporting militias stormed cities and villages in Daraa and laid a hard siege to them. These villages and cities are the biggest areas since the regime has taken control of the south in 2018.’
‘Most workers in media had to move hiding in a small area to protect themselves from arrest, prosecution and murder,’ the statement added
Sakher Idris to Levantnews: We Try to Get Guarantees from Russia and the Regime through International Pressures
Levantnews contacted the general secretary of the Syrian Journalists’ Association Sakher Idris who confirmed that the association is in direct contact with the journalists and the workers in the media sector in Daraa to make sure they are okay
‘The association contacted the relevant international organisations like Reporters without Borders, International Federation of Journalists, and all the relevant sides,” Idris added. ‘We do not negotiate with the Russian side or the Syrian regime but the international organisations can create a bridge of negotiations,’ he confirmed.
Idris explained that: ‘The Syrian Journalists’ Association called many international organisations to put pressure on all the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of the journalists through opening the borders to those who want to leave or making the regime forces give guarantees that the journalists and those who want to stay will not be prosecuted, arrested or hurt and they (the journalists) will be given a safe environment to work under no threat or pressure.’
Idris noted the association has successful experience in such issues
‘There are no 100% guarantees. We and the international organisations try to put pressure,’ he said about the desired outcomes and mentioned that in 2018 journalists and even civilians were given safe passages.
‘The association and the international organisations try to use moral authority to put pressure. What drives the Syrian regime to give guarantees is the international pressure somewhat and embarrassing the Russian side,’ Idris clarified. ‘We are not concerned with Bashar al-Assad’s authorities because they are not the ones which make the decisions about such situations, Russia does somewhat, therefore, the international organisations are contacted to get some guarantees,” he added
Days ago, Bashar al-Assad’s regime signed an agreement, under the auspices of Russia, with the local commissions of the neighbourhoods of Daraa al-Balad. According to the agreement, the security status of 100 wanted people will be resolved, the light weapons of some people will be surrendered and the regime forces will be deployed in 3 areas which Daraa’s people consider as strategic, the thing that will make the Syrian regime take control of the whole region.
The agreement terms came into force on Monday morning. The Assad’s forces lifted the siege on the neighbourhoods from one passage which connects with the neighbourhoods of Daraa Al-Mahata. The neighbourhoods were under siege more than a month ago, the thing that drove people to accept the regime demands.
The regime Escalates.. People of Daraa Call to be Moved to Safe Place
Afterwards, the chief police of Daraa Governorate Dirar dandel announced to Russian media that thousands of members of the fourth armed division came along with tens of tanks and panzers. This military reinforcement came in preparation for a limited military operation to end the rampant insecurity and the continuous murders in this governorate which borders Jordan and the Golan Heights.
After the regime forces stormed the towns of Daraa, the people of Daraa called, in a video on Wednesday, July 28, to be moved to a safe place if the Syrian regime insisted on raiding the neighbourhood so that the town will be given to the regime unpopulated.
Local media said that a new round of negotiations between the central committees and the Syrian regime officers ended after Wednesday midnight in the municipal stadium in Daraa city without reaching any agreement between the two sides because the regime officers insisted on setting up military checkpoints and security details in the neighbourhoods of Daraa, the thing that the central committees in the region reject, therefore, the negotiations failed again and were postponed to Wednesday morning.
The tension continued in downtown Daraa (Daraa al-Balad) and the besieged areas. As well, the only healthcare clinic closed and the regime still target the besieged neighbourhoods from time to time using mortar shells.
Since the reconciliation agreement was signed in Daraa in 2018, al-Assad’s forces and Russia has not been able to take control of the mentioned neighbourhoods unlike the rest of the areas in the western and eastern countryside. levant