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Concerns In South Syria Over Damascus’ Release Of ISIS Members
Daraa - Riyad al-Zein
Local sources in southern Syria said that concern prevails in the Yarmouk Basin area, southwest Daraa, over the large number of ISIS members who returned to the area after the Syrian regime started releasing them in batches since early last month.
Most of those ISIS militants were members of the Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid, the local ISIS affiliate.
The western Daraa countryside was ISIS’ last stronghold in the area, before the Assad forces took over the Yarmouk Basin, via a military campaign, backed by Russian aircraft and settlement opposition factions in August 2018.
Since then, Daraa has been in a state of security chaos, with hundreds of people arrested, including those who have agreed to the settlements with the regime's forces, which have also obliged many into forced conscription. This has angered several residents, especially the factions that agreed to the settlements.
Activists in the Yarmouk Basin told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that currently, around 1,000 ISIS-affiliated militants returned to the area.