The eighth day of this month, November, witnessed the release of the Sweida living abductees held by ISIS. The way of the release was disturbing. The Assad regime media said the abductees were released by a military operation. The regime published a footage video to enforce its narration.
Meanwhile, local Sweida social media refuted the Assad regime’s story, raising many questions about the operation and the events that preceded it in the Syrian governorate, including the change of roles seen in the Russian occupation and the Sweida’s Men of Dignity.
Significant event preceded the release
Three hours before the announcement issued by the Assad regime’s news agency SANA, Sweida social media pages said that Ra’afet al-Baloos, announced his withdrawal from the council as an advisor. Yahya al-Hajjar succeeded him.
Jaber al-Shufi, a writer and researcher, said, in an interview with Orient that "Men of dignity were subjected to great pressure by the Assad regime, because they played an important role in preventing about 40 thousand young men from joining the Assad regime’s military service.
Al-Shufi said that the Men of Dignity did not play any role in the release of the abductees. They only put pressure on the local negotiators. The men of dignity also took part in an independent military operation against ISIS in the area.
On his part, a source close to the Men of Dignity told Orient Net that the withdrawal of al-Baloos coincided with the release of the abductees, noting that the he (al-Baloos) did not expect that imminent release. The same source said that the Men of Dignity categorically rejected the joining in the Assad regime’s service.
Russia is alone in the file
The Russian occupation imposed a month ago a ceasefire between the Assad militia on one hand and ISIS on the other. The ceasefire took part in the Safa district. ISIS released 6 hostages on the condition that the regime had to release 25 ISIS members after three days. The second phase stoped because the regime rejected ISIS conditions.
The committee said that the first phase ended, vindicating that ISIS made a deal with regional and international parties. The deal stipulated the release of 90 ISIS-affiliated women and children.
In this context, the journalist Fayez Qantar explained that America played a role in the file of the abductees in coordination with Russia and with some Kurdish forces SDF.
What was the goal needed by the regime behind the abductees?
After releasing the abductees, the elder of the Druze sect, Hekmat al-Hejri, called on the Druze youth to join the military service, urging them to make use of the Amnesty Decree issued by Bashar Assad.
Here al-Qantar explained that the main objective of the ISIS aggression was orchestrated by the Assad regime. It was calling up the Sweida young men, who did not join the Assad regime’s army.
Al-Qentar added that the statement of the spiritual elder of the Druze, Hekmat al-Hajjar, was to establish the regime’s control over the Sweida after the Assad power became disruptive and shadow of itself there.
Since 2014, Assadâ€™s sectarian militia has not detained any Druze man, called for the military service, at the checkpoints inside the Sweida.
In the beginning of the Syrian revolution, the sons of the Sweida besieged the conscription centres controlled by the regime and released the then-detainees.
The Druze have not joined the their fellow Syrians in the protests that erupted against the Assad regime in 2011.