Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Daraa Threatened with the ‘Aleppo Scenario’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke rises from buildings following a reported air strike on a rebel-held area in the southern Syrian city of Daraa, on May 22, 2017. (AFP)

Beirut – The Syrian regime launched in the past two days more than 500 airstrikes on Daraa, threatening the southern city with a scenario similar to the one witnessed in Aleppo.

“About 500 raids were carried out by the regime forces and their loyal militiamen on the city of Daraa since Saturday,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented on Monday.

The monitoring group also said the regime’s warplanes and helicopters launched 52 raids on Daraa, 145 ground-to-ground missiles, 110 barrels bombs and at least 190 artillery and rocket shells, which left casualties and injuries and massive damage to the properties of the citizens.

Activists said that the Syrian regime and “Hezbollah’s” militias that control the city were currently increasing the number of raids to be able to completely control the city. They will later force the remaining towns and villages to ink reconciliation deals and force the displacement of the residents to the north of Syria.

Meanwhile, opposition forces announced on Monday that 10 “Hezbollah” members were killed in the Daraa battles, while the Observatory reported that at least 14 members were killed when a missile hit one of their headquarters.

Opposition journalist in Daraa, Abdul-Hamid Naseer told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The regime and Shi’ite militias want at this stage to cut off the road to rebels and to stop their advancement to new areas.”

Also on Monday, the Free Syrian Army-linked group, Lions of the East Army, also known as Jaysh Usud al-Sharqiya, shot down a Syrian regime fighter jet near the capital Damascus.

The group said the pilot was killed after the Russian-made MIG-21 plane crashed in Tel Dakwa, some 50 kilometers east of Damascus.