Middle East

10 Killed in South Syria Clashes: Monitor

Gunmen supporting Syria’s government and others opposed to Damascus clashed in the southern Syrian province of Sweida Tuesday, killing at least 10 people, a war monitor said.

Six loyalists and four people against the regime lost their lives after the fighting erupted in two villages in the Druze-majority province, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

Tensions had been rising since Monday, after the abduction of two people critical of the Damascus government.

The Druze, who made up less than three percent of Syria’s pre-war population, have largely kept out of the country’s civil war since it started in 2011.

Sweida has been spared most of the fighting, though local forces had to repel limited rebel attacks in 2013 and 2015, and a jihadist rampage in 2018 killed more than 250 people.

Government institutions and security forces are present in the province, while Syrian troops are deployed not far from its provincial borders.

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