Security and countering violence

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) said hundreds of people blocked the streets of the southern city of Suwayda to protest against their deteriorating living conditions. After storming a government building, the protesters were violently attacked by security forces who opened fire on the crowd, killing one person and wounding four others.

The director of the OSDH, Rami Abdel Rahmane, said that at least “one protester was shot and killed... The protestors tore down a large photo of President Bashar al-Assad hanging on the facade.” Syrian state television said that “outlaws stormed the governorate building and burned files,” without giving further details. Local sources also announced the death of a policeman in this protest.

The city of Suwayda, which has remained loyal to the Al-Assad regime since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, has been experiencing high social tensions for months due to the deterioration of the economic situation in a country where 90% of the population lives below the poverty line due to the war and Western sanctions.