Amid deteriorating living conditions, economic stagnation and increasing penury – Syrian regime forces suppress outraged protest wave in As-Suwayda


Since yesterday, the Southern Syrian city of As-Suwayda has been witnessing a wave of fierce and indignant protests, which quickly escalated, following the regime forces’ brutal quelling of the looming uprising. As the living conditions are severely exacerbating and impoverishment is rapidly increasing, people in As-Suwayda began to demonstrate against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. On social media videos and pictures appeared, displaying angry demonstrators tearing down pictures of the Syrian president, burning the Russian flag as well as an armored military vehicle, belonging to the regime’s security forces and storming the official building of the governorate in the city center.
In order to express their indignation at the current conditions in Syria, the protestors chanted the famous slogan, which has gained recognition following the eruption of the so-called „Arab Spring“ in 2011, „The people want the abolishment of the regime“.
Pursuant to the local „Suwayda 24“ website, government security forces attacked the protesting crowds and brutishly dispersed them by firing bullets and ammunition in the vicinity of the stormed governorate building, which resulted in the death of at least two demonstrators and further injured four others. The shooting further continued in the governorate building as well as in the police command station by members of the present security forces, who targeted the demonstrators from the rooftops. The website further stated that dozens of protesters blocked the international Damascus – As-Suwayda road near the village of Hazm in the governorate’s countryside, in solidarity with the demands of the demonstrators.
The local „Ar-Rasaad“ website further divulged the identity of one the killed protestors to be „Murad Matni“ which was also confirmed by eyewitnesses, whereby the Interior Ministry announced the killing of members of the security forces during the outraged demonstrations.
According to local activists from As-Suwayda, during an interview with the Target Media Platform, the government’s policy of starvation and displacement of young people as well as the staunch enforcement of compulsory conscription significantly contributed to the fomentation and subsequent escalation of the demonstrations. Thereby, the demonstrators embarked on dealing with the govenrorate building the same manner as they did with the headquarters of the Raji Al-Falhour gang as they perceive government institutions as a ramification of violent gangs rather than people-serving facilities. The activists who had organized the calls for demonstrations, which then resulted in the gathering of hundreds of protesters at the Al-Mashnaqa roundabout in the city center, further stated that the purpose of these protests was to make the Syrian regime assume responsibility and being held accountable for the severe exacerbation of As-Suwayda’s living conditions.
In fact, within the past years, the Southern governorate of As-Suwayda has repetitively witnessed popular uprisings as the economic situation is aggravating on a daily basis, in addition to the increasing climate of impunity, lawlessness and insecurity, manifested in acts of extortion, terrorist attacks, assassinations and severe human rights violations, while the Syrian regime continues to quell any kind of protests and objection against its policy and rule.

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