On the Other Side...

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Thu 27 October / Oct 2016. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Thu 27 October / Oct 2016. 08:43 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The report published recently on the “Jazeera Net” website, prepared by colleague Hadil Siddiq, contained a decent amount of new information, sourced by leaders with the Southern Frontier, which is close Jordan affiliate, on the expanding presence of Hizbollah and the Irani influence in the Southern parts of Syria, the Daraa province in particular, which is held by the Syrian regime and allies.

The report mentions thousands, with these militias, have advanced in the southern areas. And in regards to there being no unbiased reliable source to run these numbers down, there happens to be a lump of other previous indicative reports confirming that Iran and Hizbollah have had their eyes on the wider southern Triangle of Syria; a strategic area which extends from the Damascus outskirts, to Daraa, all the way to Quneitra. That said, it was only a matter of time before attempts by the regime and their allies be made to advance into that particular area and take it back.

Additionally, there have been several incidents, last year as well, by the regime and friends to retake the Damas-Daraa-Qunaitra triangle. With every failing attempt, Jordan would send out a message to warn advancing forces beyond the border that the Kingdom will not stand by any incursion into Daraa, given that would comprise a strategic, compound threat to Jordan’s national security. First, there is the refugee predicament. Second, there is the issue of reigniting military confrontations in the southern frontiers of Syria, but this time right on our borders. And third, there is teh fact that the alternative to the Southern Front and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) will inevitably be ISIS, aka Daesh, whose already found a stepping stone in the western Daraa outskirts, formed under the flanks of the “Khalid Ibnul Walid” faction there, albeit sieged by the Southern Front and “Jaish Al Fat-h”; comprised mainly of “Ahrar al Sham” and “Fat-h Al Sham”, the former Qaida affiliate previously known as “Nusra”.

Jordan is still devising diplomacy, mediated by the Russians, to deliver these warnings over the Daraa issue. And so far, in spite of the breach that has happened when the Regime took back the town of “Sheikh Miskeen”, the cool-down between the regime and the FSA stands. However, the next few days may see a fundamental change to the situation, particularly if the Syrian regime successfully resolve the East Aleppo battle.

The standing Jordanian wager remains undisclosed, regarding the post-Aleppo phase, when the Russians and their Syrian allies are done securing the major primary cities; Damascus, Lattakia, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo, but Jordan remains hopeful that the Russians afterwards would seriously consider the activation of a political resolution, after the battle has been irreversibly tilted in their favour, leaving it for America’s friends in Raqqa, and their Kurdish allies, to finish off ISIS in that area.

Nonetheless, the question stands; what if the Syrian regime and allies do not suffice with the “achievement” in Aleppo, particularly the allies’ agenda —Iran’s and Hizbollah’s, and decide to “resolve” the situation in the eastern Ghouta by “relocating” the Sunni community there through the all too obvious “sectarian-demographic” redistribution or reengineering process underway across vast areas of Syria, while at the same time increasing pressure over Daraa all the way to the borders with Jordan, to retake it?!

This is not so farfetched. And in that regard, Jordan has limited options to address this scenario, in light of shifts in the regional and international weather blowing in the Irani-Russian favour, who are the prime allies and backers of the Syrian regime. What is Jordan, along with the US, the French, and the British, going to do?

On the other side of the equation lies the outcome of a wider view on events in Iraq and Syria that goes beyond the battles for Mosul, Aleppo, and Raqqa. With ISIS gone, should it be at all possible, should the Syrian and Iraqi regimes be able to restore control over most regions, including borderline areas with Jordan, this would mean; first, that we are for the first time in direct contact with Iran, via proxy, which is an unprecedented situation, for Iran’s influence was never this strong. And second, militias who do not have a good relationship or impression of Jordan, and are hostile towards the Kingdom, will most probably be camping just across the borders; the Shiite Mobilisation forces in Iraq, and Hizbollah in Syria.