Syrian government forces recapture Dara’a, the place where it all started

The government forces of Syria have claimed that they have managed to capture Dara’a, the place here the war actually started all those years ago. Dara’a was the place from which the civil war erupted and engulfed the entire region for over 7 years.

An agreement was reached between the Syrian government and the militant groups last week. As per this agreement, the terrorist groups are going to hand over their medium and heavy grade weapons. Those among the groups who are in agreement with the accord will be allowed to stay in the area. Those who will be refusing reconciliation, they are going to be evacuated.

Syrian troops have managed to raise the Syrian flag again over Dara’a. 7 years ago, a piece of graffiti that poked fun at Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, caused the uprising that spilled out and became the Syrian War.

For several Syrians, the war started in Dara’a which is an agricultural town located on the Syria-Jordan border. 15 teenage boys, back in March 2011, were arrested and charged with spray painting graffiti on a wall. That wall had images of well-known Arab strongmen such Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt abdicating their power. Someone had spray painted a scrawling on the wall that read “’It’s your turn now Doctor”, with doctor being a reference to Assad who was an ophthalmologist.

The actual perpetrator could not be found. Instead, the boys were arrested and beaten. Their fingernails were even removed and they were tortured over the course of weeks as the officials tried to force a confession. During their captivity, the town revolted. There were daily protests and the townspeople called on Assad to force the police chief of the town to release the boys.

By the time they were released, after weeks, Dara’a had already become a focal point in government efforts to quell unrest. By spring in 2011, Syrian army tanks were heading into town as rebel forces took control to fight. The violence only escalated from then on. After 7 years, millions have been displaced and several hundred thousands dead.

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