Jordan and Suleimani’s Endeavours!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Tue 13 June / Jun 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Iranian media and news agencies yesterday, Tuesday, published images of the leader of the Quds legion, Qasim Suleimani, near the Iraqi-Syrian borderline, west of Mosul.

The pictures showed him leading thousands of Fatimid Legion soldiers, the Shiite Afghani faction, into Syria, near Boukamal, in an obvious attempt to beat the International Coalition’s forces in the race for control over the Badia region.

In the meantime, the regular Syrian army, backed by pro-government militias, is encircling the US "red line", 50 km from Tanf, to secure access to the Iraqi borders.

Tanf, the official crossing between Iraq and Syria, was turned into a base for opposition forces under the supervision and protection of the western Coalition.

At a similar distance from Tanf, particularly 70 km, opposition factions announced the establishment of a new base in Zkuf, to prep for ISIS, and size-down Iran’s influence in Syria.

One of the Coalition’s main objectives in Tanf was to block Iran’s access to the Mediterranean, via the strategic Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus route.

However, it seems the Iranian military strategists know exactly how to put these plans to shame.

Suleimani and the Iranians are fully aware of the US plans; they have leverage in Iraq and Syria, and have exquisite knowledge of the terrain.

They have all the power cards in both countries, and they will now allow anyone to disrupt their march, now that they’re so close to their close.

Meanwhile, the Syrian regular army’s campaign on Daraa is intensifying.

It seems too that the Syrian regime is determined to make the Syrian=Jordanian border, and isolate the town from its outskirts.

Such a military advancement will inhibit the founding of a low-tension area or safe zone in the Syrian South, as the Russians sit it out, quietly, despite initial agreements.

In previous articles, we spoke about Jordan’s choices, in regards to the underway campaign on Daraa.

It is still unclear as to whether Jordan will suffice with supporting armed opposition indirectly, or perhaps get more deeply involved now that Iran has shown its claws.

Iran really doesn’t want the safe-zone proposition to work.

So, will Jordan simply let the Iranian Revolutionary Guard take control of the borders?

How the Jordanians and Americans intend to tackle this issue is unclear to me.

However, what is clear is that Iran is determined to take the Syrian borderlines with both Iraq and Jordan, in an outright rejection of the Safe-Zones proposition.

To us here, in Amman, it would have been very different had the regular Syrian Army been leading the Daraa offensive.

Likewise, were it definite to the question of Syria’s unity, it would have been understandable to the officials here.

It is clear to the Jordanian leadership that the one in charge of the military operations there is Qasem Suleimani, and he really doesn’t like the Safe-Zones proposition.

Notably, the alternative to the proposition is chaos and war, and ultimately more refugees heading for the border, culminating more pressures on Jordan.

Notwithstanding the humanitarian calamity at stake, much of the unfolding which will follow has a lot to do with the core of Jordan’s national security.

Initial signs indicate the crossings clashes in the last few days will intensify as the ongoing battles build momentum.

What remains for Jordan is to think well about how the Kingdom is going to approach the Suleiman militias question.

Is Jordan going to maintain a detached and mediated dynamic via the Americans, or are we going to engage them directly in open dialogue, to help clarify our interests and concerns.

Similarly, we will learn what their plans are.

Strategic and security interests come in first for Jordan, as there are four South Syrian governorates along the North Jordanian borderline.

These include Homs, Sweidaa, and Damascus, throughout the Badia outskirts, as well as Daraa and Qunaitra in the South.

Each of these provinces and governorates, almost, is divided among rival factions who are not into the power sharing game.

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