Syria: tense calm reigns in Suwayda after violent protests

Governorate's headquarters attacked yesterday, at least 2 dead

05 December, 12:42

    BEIRUT - Tense calm was reigning on Monday morning in Suwayda, the main city of southern Syria at the border with Jordan, where over the last 48 hours new tensions have been reported between part of the population and local authorities amid continuing socio-economic crisis and lack of basic services. Local sources have told ANSA that government forces intervened in the city and along the road connecting Suwayda to the capital Damascus, after demonstrators on Sunday attacked the headquarters of the governorate, a symbol of central power, represented by controversial Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

    The death toll following the violence reported over the past few hours is of two victims, a civilian and a police officer, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least six others have been reported wounded.

    Syria has been torn by war for over 11 years. And although the region of Suwayda has been relatively spared by large-scale armed violence, which instead affected other Syrian regions, for years the city of Suwayda has been at the center of recurrent protests, including violent ones, by some sectors of the population. Usually, demonstrators have protested for not being included in clientelist networks connected to Damascus which, among other benefits, distribute basic services like drinking water, medicines, fuel for domestic heating or for power generators in a context where electricity is not distributed by the State.

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