Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Assad Exerts Pressure to Turn Moadamiyat al-Sham into another Daraya | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Men chat near buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Assad in Daraya, near Damascus February 2, 2014. Reuters

Beirut, Ankara-The Syrian regime is exerting more pressure on residents of Moadamiyat al-Sham, located south of Damascus, by forcing them to accept a settlement that would compel fighters to hand over their weapons, and deport those who reject the new conditions. The regime also threatened to use force by shelling the village.

Dani Qabbani, a Moadamiyah-based media activist, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the negotiating committee met on Wednesday with representatives from the Syrian regime.

“Representatives from the (Assad) regime spoke with us in an imposing tone, and threatened to burn Moadamiyat al-Sham in case we do not accept a settlement,” Qabbani said.

The activist said the representatives did not give the residents any choice.

“Residents were divided before the meeting between a group supporting a conditioned settlement with the regime, and another group completely opposition it, or only rejecting some items such as handing over weapons and the deportation of some residents designated by the regime. However, the scene was much different following the meeting, when the regime looked determined to use force and launch a war that residents were incapable to handle,” Qabbani said.

Similar to what happened in Daraya, the regime plans to enforce a settlement in Moadamiyaht al-Sham, matching the Russian calls to ink a ceasefire deal between Moscow and opposition factions.

Meanwhile, Ankara raised three “NOs” concerning its interference in northern Syria, saying: “No ceasefire, no withdrawal and no settlement between Turkey and Kurds.”

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Operation Euphrates Shield would continue until the Turkish border is safe from all terrorist threats.

Also, presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin had denied rumors about a deal reached between Turkey and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to stop fighting, asserting that a ceasefire or agreement being made with terrorists is out of the question.

Kalin rejected the statements made by U.S. officials equating Turkey with the YPG in the fight against ISIS, describing them as “unacceptable.”