Attacks & Assassinations in South-West Syria: Jan 2021

In January 2021, 39 assassination operations and 28 attacks occurred over the month. Almost half of the attacks were against regime points in response to the regime’s military escalation on Tafas in late January, while many of the assassination operations took place in western Daraa between rival armed actors in the area. Almost half of all assassination operations over the previous month targeted former opposition figures, including those who have settled their status and are collaborating with regime forces. ISIS cells perpetrated the highest number of assassinations, evidence of their continually expanding presence in the area, oftentimes with the regime’s tacit support. In total, there have now been 723 assassinations and 513 attacks in the south-west since the July 2018 settlement agreement, with instability and cyclic violence continuing to worsen.

  • January Operations: During January 2021, 28 attacks and 39 assassinations took place in the south-west. Both attacks and assassinations increased in comparison to the previous month, mainly due to the regime’s escalation on Tafas.
  • Total Operations: In total, 513 attacks and 723 assassinations have occurred between July 2018 – January 2021. The number of attacks and assassinations has continued to increase every year as the security situation deteriorates due to the regime’s heavy-handed security policies.
  • Targets: Former opposition members were targeted in almost half of all assassination operations in January 2021, even though many of them have settled their status and are now affiliated with regime forces.
  • Perpetrators: ISIS cells and affiliated actors committed the highest number of assassinations by a known perpetrator in January 2021, targeting mainly former opposition figures in western Daraa.
  • Unknown Perpetrators: Unknown perpetrators were responsible for 35% of attacks and 25% of assassinations in January. Some of these operations are carried out against regime points and figures using the phrase the “popular resistance.” This phrase does not denote a coherent movement, but is an expression of the pervasive popular anger against the regime’s oppressive military policies in the area.
  • Locations: Attacks and assassination operations in January 2021 occurred predominantly in former opposition strongholds in western Daraa and Daraa al-Balad.

Monthly Number of Assassinations & Attacks

Number of Assassinations & Attacks by Geographical Area