Locals Remain Trapped in Syria’s Daraa al-Balad Amid Ongoing Clashes

Several Syrian troops reported killed in attempted advance

A siege continues in southern Syria’s Daraa al-Balad, with intermittent fighting, weeks after a deal was reached that was meant to the end the crisis, and which rapidly fell apart. This has left the locals under siege a lot longer than expected.

At the end of July, a deal was reached intending to see the rebels in the area disarm in return for an end to the siege. The following day, however, the rebels reneged, handing over only a few broken weapons, while insisting they intended to keep their functioning arms.

This led to a few days of fighting, and a return to the siege. Since then, nothing decisive has happened, though Syrian troops did make an attempted advance recently, with several reportedly killed in the fighting.

The siege doesn’t seem indefinitely sustainable, with growing shortages. The rebels seem able to prevent the military from overrunning them, but there is no endgame for this area that isn’t going to require some sort of deal.

Daraa was one of the first areas to see fighting in the Syrian War, and it makes some sense to be one of the last areas to be resolved. Still, the war is virtually over in most of Syria, and there is little for the rebels to gain in dragging this on.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.