Syria: A message from As-Suwayda to the world


Since more than 100 days, the majorly Druze-inhabited Governorate of As-Suwayda, situated in the South of Syria, has witnessed a wave of demonstrations that do not cease to desist. Starting out as a popular movement, centered around the Al-Karama square, the protestors have further increased their demands for a profound political change. The demonstrations are in fact, supported by certain elders of the Druze Akl Sect.

The main demand is a peaceful political transition and the resignation of incumbent President Bashar Al-Assad, the head of the Syrian regime, in accordance with UN Resolution 2254, which preponderantly stipulates the liberation of prisoners and the divulgement of the fate of all forcibly disappeared. The uprising took place in various places and villages, with repetitively held demonstrations on Fridays.

Following multiple weeks of peaceful protests in the Southern Governorate, Sheikh Akl, belonging to the Druze Unitarian sect Hikmat Al-Hijri, delivered a significant video statement to the Syrian people. In his statement, he reaffirmed the peaceful character of the movement and further stressed the legitimacy of its demands. In addition, he emphasized the staunch rejection and condemnation of any form of violence and repression as well as the determination to continue with sit-ins and protests until all demands are implemented.

Sheikh Al-Hijri also highlighted that the people in Southern Syria already sacrificed a lot for the sake of their homeland. However, real efforts towards an alleviation of the plight of the Syrian people and an achievement of a secure, stable and prosperous country.

Sheikh Hikmat Al-Hijri’s statement is seen as a message to several parties. Above all, this may be a message to the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad. Analysts say the Suwayda protests put him in a delicate position in terms of his political recovery efforts. The protests also shed light on the current crisis in areas controlled by the Damascus government and call for intervention to find solutions to these pressing issues.

Asymmetric power balances and corruption to destabilize Southern Syria

In a recent statement to the Media Platform „Target“, Suleiman Al-Kafiri, head of the Suwayda Department of the Arab Organization for Human Rights and a founding member of the National Initiative in Jabal al-Arab, expressed his concerns regarding the growing corruption and abuse of power in the region. According to Sheikh Al-Hijri, Al-Kafiri’s statement was issued at a crucial time, when the popular uprising reached its peak.

Moreover, Al-Kafiri highlighted the serious impact of material hardship, which not only affects the living conditions of the population but also destabilizes the country’s political landscape. The experiences of people who lose their freedom and dignity lie in stark contrast to corrupt rulers and agents who loot the country through military operations. In this context, he mentioned states, such as Turkey, Iran, Russia and the United States are mentioned.

Local activists and human rights organizations from As-Suwayda report on attempts by the Syrian regime to pressure factions and groups into acts of violence. It is suspected that the regime is promoting chaos, assassinations and drug trafficking in the Southern Governorate in order to sow discord within the population and thus, undermine the peaceful popular movement.

Despite three months of continuous demonstrations, the protesters’ demands were ignored. The strategy of relying on torpidity and the repression of protesters proved insufficient and was described as a failure by human rights activists. Therefore, the situation in As-Suwayda remains tense as calls for justice and political change continue to dominate public debate.











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