Militias on the Border!

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 31 May / May 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

On the other side of the Jordanian border with Syria is divided among a number of armed factions, both moderate and extremist.

Among those operating in the borderline adjacency inside Syria, there are factions affiliated with regional powers, like Iran.

The same goes for the North Syrian territories along the borderline with Turkey.

All along the Syria-Turkey borderline, lurk numerous armed factions, some loyal to Turkey, and others affiliated with the Kurds, on the side of Russian forces.

Notably, the borders with Lebanon are not any better.

Despite the evident control of the Syrian army on the border points with Lebanon, terrorist groups have a strong presence in these areas.

Therefore, the entirety of the borderline is a hot zone.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese carry the weight of the threats imposed by the borderline situation.

On the Iraqi side of the border, Popular Mobilisation militias and the US-led Global Coalition are racing over the border areas.

From what it seems, it is safe to say that the militias have set a big foot in on the borders, and they aspire to cross the border into Syria.

More so, their desire to take control of the Iraqi borders with Jordan is no secret.

It seems all the best laid military and security plans did not take into consideration the border situation.

The four guarantors of the safe zones plan are more focused on the internal Syrian situation, to enforce ceasefire in four proposed areas.

Apparently, the borderline situation was not incorporated into the overall plan for Syria.

The task of maintaining the borderline situation on each of the Turkish, Iraqi, Lebanese, and Jordanian sides is left for them to handle, despite the frailty of standing border security measures.

Militias and terrorist groups easily infiltrated the Syrian borderline, facing little to no resistance in some cased, and took control over vast expanses of territory, ISIS for example.

These last seven years have been hell for region.

Chaos in both Syria and Iraq has allowed for militias, factions, and terrorist groups to completely undermine the sovereignty of these states, and their national Armies.

Regional players and countries bear an early responsibility for this situation.

Even before the turmoil in Syria and Iraq began, long before, these militias have been gaining power and overgrowing these countries’ official militaries.

In Iraq, for example, after the US invasion, political forces hastened to build their own forces, militarily, putting them above their country’s own national armies.

These factions gained more support than any of the national armies ever got, so much that they became the natural, more effective surrogate for the national army.

In the Iraqi-Kurdistan region, with whom the Iraqi government had failed to reconcile, the Peshmerga have become the official force in action.

More so, they have become a source of inspiration for separation and independence from the Iraqi motherland.

The grinding crisis in Syria has given birth to militias; the regime and the opposition fell for it.

Simultaneously, the intensification of foreign intervention has also set in motion a vast regional war by proxy, driven by foreign and imported militias, as well as masses and mobs of nationals who have no other means of making a living but take arms.

With the states’ authorities receding, to make things worse, militias have become the source of validation for the regimes and decision makers.

Their borders are all they have left to show for their sovereignty of nations; for a state without borders is not a state.

States with militias acting on their behalf will never be stable.

With these militias in control of the borders, the fate of the whole region is stake.

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

Comment