southern Syria

26 06, 2024
  • Members of a local faction in Syria’s southern Suwayda province stand in the back of a military vehicle at the northern entrance of Suwayda city after a night of clashes with regime forces, 23/6/2024 (Karam Mansour/Syria Direct)

Suwayda sidesteps a ‘spiral of violence’ following clashes

By Karam Mansour|2024-07-16T15:06:42+02:00June 26, 2024|

A new security checkpoint in Suwayda city sparked angry protests and armed clashes between local factions and regime forces before an agreement negotiated by local civil and religious leadership averted further escalation. The incident underscores the delicate balance of keeping the peace in the southern province.

10 06, 2024
  • Local notables take part in organizing final high school exams in Inkhil, a city in the northern countryside of Daraa province, 26/5/2024 (My City Inkhil)

Daraa communities foot the bill for public education

By Walid Al Nofal|2024-06-11T22:10:17+02:00June 10, 2024|

Facing a teacher shortage and little government support, communities in Daraa are turning to alternative solutions: providing financial bonuses to keep underpaid teachers in classrooms and repairing school buildings themselves.

29 03, 2024
  • The Men of Dignity movement, the largest local faction in Suwayda, destroys a seized shipment of narcotics that was set to be smuggled from the southern Syrian province into Jordan, 9/2/2024 (Suwayda 24)

Communities in southern Syria take on the drug trade

By Walid Al Nofal|2024-03-29T18:27:02+01:00March 29, 2024|

Communities and local armed groups in Syria’s southern Suwayda and Daraa provinces are taking the fight against drug traffickers and smugglers into their own hands. With Damascus and Hezbollah profiting from the trade, they face an uphill battle.

26 03, 2024
  • A truck targeted by the Jordanian Armed Forces while attempting to cross into Jordan from Syria carrying a load of drugs, 24/3/2021 (Jordanian Armed Forces)

How Suwayda became a drug-smuggling hub

By Karam Mansour|2024-05-24T15:12:13+02:00March 26, 2024|

In Syria’s southern Suwayda province, suspected Jordanian airstrikes hunt drug traffickers and kill civilians. Regime-linked gangs operate with impunity and smugglers ferry drugs over the border. Local armed groups fight back. How did we get here?

12 03, 2024
  • Satellite images reveal how the Tal al-Hara woods, in the northwest of Syria’s southern Daraa province, were all but stripped bare by logging between October 2011 and November 2022. (Google Earth)

Under the axe: The fall of Daraa’s forests and fruit trees

By Walid Al Nofal|2024-03-13T13:34:49+01:00March 12, 2024|

Trees have fallen under the axe in Daraa and across Syria since the spring 2011 revolution, cut for wood to sell or use as an alternative to heating and cooking gas during war, siege and economic crises. Since 2020, however, logging has increased to include fruit-bearing trees on private farmland and within cities.

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