A Necessary Revaluation

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 12 November / Nov 2017. 01:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Sun 12 November / Nov 2017. 11:23 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

It is not as easy as “signing an agreement” to enforce and sustain the De-Escalation Zone in the Syrian South.

Reliable sources have confirmed to Alghad that the new agreement includes the South, in accordance to the Russo-American Amman Accord. However, it goes seldom as smooth as signatures, when it comes to realising a lasting ceasefire in reality.

In this case, there are various recent regional developments that need to be factored into the equation.

Jordan is beginning to revaluate its position on Syria, with the deterioration of ISIS and the imbalance of power, with the Russo-Iranian-Syrian alliance imposing a new reality there.

In regards to Baghdad too, Jordan is working towards reconstructing relations with Iraq, in order to restore commercial activity through the Tureibil border point.

Meanwhile, Jordan, as well as the Iraqis, has made several moves on the eastern and possibly even the northern frontiers, in light of the developments in Syria.

It is possible that Jordan’s revaluation on Syria will have reflected implicitly on the Kingdom’s relationship with the rebels in the Syrian South.

In fact, the Jordanian revaluation is the reason why they withdrew from border areas; the no man’s land under US protection, and other areas included in the Amman Accord, like Daraa, enabling the Syrian army to retake areas once under the Free Syrian Army (FAS)’s control

Jordan’s official justification is that the power balance does not weigh in the favour of the FSA, and that these areas, taken by the regime, were not part of the Accord’s roadmap. Neither were the No Man Land, which include Natf, Rukban and other areas.

Whether or not they were included in the roadmap, Jordan’s priorities to keep sectarian militias away from the borderline with Syria were actually met.

To Jordan’s surprise —I suppose— several militias immerged there under the banner of the 313 Brigade, in the town of Azraa, in Daraa, which wears a sectarian colour, according to the Syrian opposition. Apparently, the 313 militias are backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and they are similar to other local militias in Iraq and Syria!

Notably, it is an extremely intelligent move by the Iranians. A local militia, not so far from the border, could lay the foundation for what is far more dangerous in the future. Soon enough, such militias could redirect the confrontation to the southern Syrian areas, to found a footing for Iran there, and they could be mobilised to fight off other rival parties.

On the other hand, we know very little about the terms of de-escalation, and it is obvious that Jordan would rather operate away from the media.

What we know, however, is that such an Iranian step is probably unexpected. I do not think that the Jordanians or Americans anticipated it.

Meanwhile, it would seem that the basis for stability and regional tranquillity has begun to quiver under the strain of the rising Saudi-Iranian dispute.

It is plausible that more wars by proxy are likely to surface, with the intensity of the polarisation rising, in the absence of effective mediation between the sides of the conflict.

Obviously, Jordanians value our reasonable and balanced position through it all; especially under the gravity of the ongoing polarisation, but surely, it comes at a cost. In fact, it may actually backfire.

Should the situation further deteriorate in the region that it was, no international or regional party will be satisfied by Jordan’s position!

This is especially true now and more so in the months to come, as subtle whispers are circulating about an underway realignment to include Israel in the regional fencing against Iran.

Combined, these developments in the regional situation require of Jordan to revaluate its position fundamentally, and possibly even pre-emptively.

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