Demonstrations against Assad regime shake Syrian provinces
Rare protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government continued in Syria on Friday, with residents reported coming to the streets in several towns in Daraa and Sweida provinces.
The fury worsened last week after the government brought an end to fuel subsidies, exacerbating the plight of Syrians already reeling from an economic crisis and years of war.
Demonstrations were reported in the Daraa province town of Bosra al-Sham, when dozens of people openly called for an end to the Assad regime, according to an AFP correspondent.
Protesters Demand Freedom, Dignity And Unity
“We have come to the streets in Bosra al-Sham to confirm our continuation of the Syrian Revolution and the demands that brought us here in 2011,” an activist said.
The province was the cradle of the 2011 unrest, which the regime brutally suppressed, triggering years of civil war that have displaced millions and killed over half a million others.
“We will not go back on our demands,” the activist Ahmad Mekdad said, while protesters held placards reading “Silence today means the tyrant continues.”
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Raises Alarm
As part of a Russia-brokered agreement with rebel fighters, Daraa eventually returned to government control in 2018. It has since been struggling to counter violence and insecurity.
UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported massive demonstrations in a string of towns in the Daraa province on Friday.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people in neighbouring Sweida rallied in the biggest protest movement since the disruption began last week, the monitoring group said.
The province has seen infrequent protests over living conditions in the past. One demonstrator and a policeman got killed in December when security forces tried to suppress a protest.