We are not sure that this is a new “Arab Spring”, at this stage it is not clear how the Demonstrations will develop if at all…
Demonstrations against the Syrian regime continue in Suwayda Province (Southeastern #Syria), with a focus on Suwayda’s Druze population, who are known to be staunch opponents of the regime. Yesterday (August 23), one of the protests included the burning of a street sign depicting President Assad.
At this point, we notice no exceptional protest manifestations, and it appears that this is just another wave of Suwayda protests, which erupt from time to time against the backdrop of persistent difficulties such as the economic condition, the drug trade, and the Iranian presence.
At this time, we notice no particular reinforcements from Syrian security forces in reaction to the protestors. It is unclear if the regime is waiting for the current wave of protests to die down, as it has in the past, or whether it is waiting for the protests to reach a level it deems intolerable before intervening. The Druze areas in the north of the Syrian Golan Heights are quiet.
In contrast to Suwayda, the Druze in Syria’s northern Golan Heights are considered regime allies. If there is support in this area for demonstrations based on “Druze brotherhood,” it is subtle and limited.
In the photo: Symbolic identification in the village of Hader (north of the Syrian Golan Heights) with the demonstrations: “Here is Hader, here is Suwayda, the Revolution of Honor 08/23/23”.
Retired Druze soldiers who served in the Syrian army joined the demonstration against the government and demanded that the demonstrators’ demands be fulfilled in accordance with UN Resolution 2254 (from December 2015, calling for a political solution to the Syrian civil war). An interesting fact: Naif al-Aqal, also known as the “hero of the Battle of Hermon” in Syria, who participated in the protest, is the Syrian Republic’s hero from the 1973 battle against Israel and is seen fifth from the left.
The retirees are calling for the establishment of a temporary management council of the Suwayda district headed by Aqal.