One day after capturing the city of Busra Al-Sham in southern Dara’a, the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front Brigades” issued a statement to win over the Druze of the As-Sweida Governorate; however, this message was rebuffed by the Durzi religious and community leaders on Thursday.
The three Sheikh Al-‘Aqls (Druze religious leaders), including Sheikh Hussein Al-Jarboua (considered highest spiritual leader) of Sweida City and Hammoud Al-Hinnawi of Sahwat Al-Balata, have reject the Islamist peace offering and reaffirmed their support for the Syrian Arab Army.
In the letter issued by the lead Mashaykh, the people of As-Sweida will not accept any agreement with an armed insurgency that seeks to combat the state government and the Syrian Arab Army.
Syrian Opposition activists have attempted to propagate the narrative that there is discontent among the people of As-Sweida – particularly, the Druze – however, these stories are often falsified or hyperbolized.
The Syrian Druze have a long history of serving in the Syrian Armed Forces – in fact, one of the highest ranking and most popular Generals in the Syrian Arab Army is Brigadier General Issam Zahreddine (from Tarba in Jabal Al-‘Arab) of the 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard (Harss Al-Jamhouri).
General Zahreddine’s grandfather reached the second highest rank in the SAA, as he became Chief of Staff in 1966; three years after the Ba’ath Party took control of the Syrian Government.
As-Sweida is not only protected by the SAA, there is also the civilian militias which make up a large part of the resistance contingents: National Defense Forces (NDF) and Jaysh Al-Muwahiddeen.