Jordan and the Syrian Situation!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 5 April / Apr 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Given everything we discussed in my article yesterday how should Amman approach such monumental changes, in terms of national security and interests in the region?! What is the course of action given the underway constraints and conditions?

According to the White House agenda, the Syrian case should be among the urgent matters His Majesty King Abdullah II and US President Donald Trump discussed yesterday.

Meanwhile, we had already spoken about a fundamental shift in the US approach on Syria, particularly in regards to Washington redefining and prioritising US interests there.

Accordingly, the US turn prioritises two main goals; first is the elimination of ISIS militarily, and the second is the down scaling of Iran’s influence in Syria.

Naturally, this would change the basis for intervention via aerial bombardment against ISIS and US support for the Kurds to establishing grounds and military basis in Syria.

For Jordan, this would reflect on the Kingdom’s approach, definitely, particularly in regards to the war on ISIS.

Jordan’s take on it is that the current hammering of the terror group up north, particularly in Raqqa and Mosul will drive them down to Syrian Badia, closer to the southern Syrian borderline. These territories include Deir el Zour to Homs, through Suwaidaa, all the way to Rukban.

Hence, to Jordan, the final frontier is not in Mosul or Raqqa; it is the Syrian Badia, all along the Jordanian borderline.

Necessarily, this puts Jordan on edge for the definite possibility of having to address a growing and far more aggressive danger, on such an intimate proximity.

Subsequently, this require more preparation, allocations, planning, and certainly a whole lot more planning to engage the organisation so close to our borders.

Previously, the King did bring this particular scenario up during His meet with Jordanian journalists and columnists early on this year.

The thing is that now, however, the US has clearer vision as military operation against ISIS intensifies. This means that we are now on the countdown for the realisation of His Majesty’s most accurate ‘premonitions’.

The second Syrian issue on the King’s agenda with Trump, is the safe zones the US President suggested to construct when he first arrived in office. For some reason, it seems the Americans have forgotten all about it. It no longer comes up.

During His Majesty’s visit to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, before his first meet with Trump, the two also discussed the idea thoroughly.

Since then, a concessional US-Russo-Jordanian framework for these safe zones should have come out by now; regarding the function and geography of these zones.

So far, it is not clear yet whether or not the construction of safe zones in Syria is realisable, since one of the parties involved there so strongly opposed to it; the Iranians. Noticeably, this maybe the reason why the southern frontier in Daraa is on fire again, in attempt to flunk the idea.

To the Iranians, the American proposition is no different from the Turk’s Euphrates Shield Operation in the northern Syrian areas.

In spite of it all, Jordan’s idea to advance a relative ceasefire for now is stronger and more plausible, and it has been in effect for nearly a year, guaranteed by Russo-Jordanian accords.

Thereon, this idea could solidly platform the realisation of safe zones under US-Russian guarantees.  It could also facilitate the return of some Syrian refugees in Jordan to Daraa, until a political solution in Syria is founded.

Despite the plausibility of this idea, on the one hand, the Iranians stand against it.

On the other hand, it can only be advanced if Jordan reinforces ties with factions in Daraa and the Syrian south in general.

Maybe if, by some miracle, Jordan successfully consolidates the south accordingly, a political, military, and developmental formula can be founded to pillar a brighter alternative for the next phase.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.