Car Bombing Claims the Lives of 8 Civilians in Al-Sweida: Sheikh Balous Among the Dead
On Friday afternoon, a car bomb – via an IED (improvised explosive device) – was detonated at the Al-Shami Neighborhood of Al-Sweida City near the National Hospital, killing 8 civilians and wounding another 22 others inside this predominately Druze area of southern Syria.
Among the dead was the prominent anti-war community leader, Sheik Abu Fahd Waheed Al-Ba’lous – the aforementioned was notorious for calling on the Druze of Al-Sweida to not involve themselves in the disputes of the state and to not sacrifice the sons in battles outside of their own province.
Sheikh Balous’ rhetoric was constantly referenced by Opposition media outlets due to what was perceived as “anti-government” sentiments; however, sources in the Al-Sweida Governorate stated that he was neither against the army nor the state – he advocated for the men of Al-Sweida to refuse compulsory military service in favor of defending their territory.
The source also added that the terrorist attack killed the prominent Durzi religious leader, Sheikh Fadi Al-Na’eem of Al-Sweida City, while injuring Sheikh Rakan Al-‘Atrash.
The three Druze religious leaders (Sheikh Al-Aql) have individually issued statements condemning the terrorist attack, while also calling on the Syrian authorities to investigate this crime.
Syrian Opposition media sources have been falsely advertising “upheaval” in Al-Sweida, posting pictures from an article that was dated back to 2013; this prompted activists in Al-Sweida to issue a statement that advises the people to be cautious of any news from the Syrian Opposition media outlets.