Protesters smash a statue of Hafez al-Assad in al-Suwaidaa in response to the assassination of Sheikh Wahid Bal’ous

Al-Suwaidaa province is witnessing tension, where dozens of people came out in demonstrations in front of several government buildings and smashed a statue of the former Syrian regime president Hafez al-Assad in al-Suwaidaa, and burned several cars in front of the headquarters, as well as hearing sounds of shooting in the city, amid promises by the elders and notables in al-Suwaidaa to rectify the situation according to civil sources, this comes after the assassination of Sheikh Wahid Bal’ous who is one of the Druze Sheikhs and known for his opposition to the Syrian regime and to the Islamists, he died along with three others by the explosion of a car targeted him in the area of Dahrat al-Jabal on the outskirts of al-Suwaidaa city, in addition to detonating a booby trapped vehicle in the National Hospital area in al-Suwaidaa which killed and injured at least 50 people

Syria Observatory for Human Rights

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Sheikh Wahid Bal’ous was a very popular figure among the Druze population and was leading the movement “Sheikhs of dignity”, a group that is committed to protect the Druze in the province and that was also fighting the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat Al-Nusra.

Sheikh Wahid Bal’ous was also opposed that the Syrian army recruits men originating from al-Suwaidaa to be sent to fight outside the province, which is under the control of the regime and Druze militias.

A few days before the death of Sheikh Bal’ous, inhabitants of al-Suwaidaa demonstrated demanding more basic services to the regime, including water and electricity. The cleric  supported these protests.

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