Suwayda residents force regime to release Druze sheikh

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Police in Suwayda arrested and then released a leader belonging to the Sheikhs of Dignity movement on Wednesday after facing stiff resistance from residents that threatened to escalate into armed confrontation. “The regime said they found two Bedouins' bodies in Suwayda, and that the Sheikh Wael al-Hajali [of the Sheikhs of Dignity] killed them,” Noura al-Basha, a Druze pro-opposition citizen journalist in Suwayda, told Syria Direct Thursday. “They did that merely to weaken the Sheikhs of Dignity and Balaus [the leader of the movement],” she added. Regime police arrested al-Hajali and took him to their headquarters in Suwayda city. Protestors gathered out front, firing into the air and threatening to storm the building, while others surrounded the military security building and civilian prison, reported pro-opposition Swaida Khabar. The regime released al-Hajali the same day. “It's all a game by the regime—they didn't announce the names of bodies nor [explain] who those Bedouin were who were killed,” said al-Basha. After al-Hajali was released, protestors marched from the police headquarters to the nearby village of Qanawat and demanded the resignation of the governor and head of police, reported Suwayda Khabar.