The Daraa Unfolding and the Jordanian Resolve!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 7 June / Jun 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Clearly, the Assad regime and Iran are planning a massive offensive attack on Daraa.

They have been preparing for it for weeks now.

In the last few days, the rampage began with the condensed bombardment of some of the city’s areas, and an attempt to isolate Daraa from its eastern and western outskirts.

The siege on Daraa began, as the Syrian army has retaken various strategic locations in its surrounding area.

The point of the Syrian army’s operation is to obstruct the establishment of a safe zone in the Syrian south, a subject the US-Russian negotiations, ongoing in Amman.

Notably, the very idea of establishing safe zones was rejected by both the Syrian regime and Iran.

Hence this endeavour to impose a new reality, by force, on the ground, before the Americans and the Russians reach final agreements, which would complicate the situation.

Recently, the Syrian regime and allied militias made considerable advancements into the Syrian Badia, to the easy. But US-led coalition forces drew the red line nearly 50 kilometres away from Tanf, the Syrian-Iraqi border area.

US air crafts bombed the area twice, and dropped flayers explaining that this area has fallen under the Coalition’s control; meaning Tanf and its vicinity.

In the meantime, there is talk about turning Tanf into a military base, to block Iran’s access to the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, the Popular Mobilisation Faction is trying to secure another passage for Iran through Iraq and Syria, via another border crossing, now that they have reached the Syrian borderline with Iraq to meet with allied factions and forces in Syria.

In Daraa, hurdling the advancement of Syrian-Iranian forces eastwards will push them to head for the south Syrian province, to retake it.

This would serve the alternative to disrupt the establishment of the safe-zone  there, and place the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions there under siege.

Typically, this would push (FSA) forces south, towards the Jordanian border.

For Jordan, this shift in the Syrian situation is not without consequence. Its implications will be difficult to bear.

Three main outcomes of the Army’s assault on Daraa threaten Jordan’s national security.

The first is the potentiality of yet another wave of refugees and displaced Syrians feeling bombardment south, towards the Jordanian borderline too.

This will only amplify the agony of the Syrians in displacement camps along the Jordan-Syria borderline, further culminating the humanitarian crisis.

Militarily, the FSA, in the impending collision, will have to manoeuvre by entering Jordanian territories, which may cause building friction and unnecessary clashes.

Third, the fall of the FSA and the Syrian army’s control of the provinces in the South Syrian areas will push the militants there into joining ISIS or Nusra.

This —needless to say— constitutes a danger doubled by the fact that there are both Iranian, Hizbullah, and Shiite militias on our borders, as well as ISIS and Nusra.

Not long ago, Nusra had relocated most of their fighters to Idlib; many thought their threat was over for good.

Nevertheless, with the regime’s forces and allies pushing for the fall of Daraa, there is a chance that Nusra and ISIS may reorganise themselves there.

What are Jordan’s options, and the United States’? Most likely, they will suffice by supporting the FSA, as they did before.

Perhaps this time, the US and Britain may supply them with quality armaments to withstand the pending apocalypse.

However, should these factions fail, and the Syrian forces advance into Daraa, Jordan’s situation will be far more complicated.

This is especially true in light of Jordan’s estimations of there being militias, 40 thousand strong, making for Daraa, as opposed to it being the Syrian Army.

Ever since the presence of Iranian militias began to grow in Syria, and these plans to advance towards the South Syrian borderlines, Jordan has made it clear.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will not tolerate the presence of Iran-affiliated militias on the other side of the border.

Concerns of the unfolding Daraa situation, its implications, are crucial to Jordan’s national security, and they will prove even more pressing in the next few days.

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