Did Jordan start communicating with the Syrian regime?

تم نشره في Mon 24 March / Mar 2014. 08:00 PM - آخر تعديل في Mon 24 March / Mar 2014. 08:01 PM

By Fahed Khitan

After Yabrod’s long after tough battle, which ended with the regime forces taking control over most of the border areas with Lebanon, everyone is looking towards Daraa, and the southern Jordanian-Syrian borders, where many armed Syrian opposition groups are based and control some of the areas.

The regime is interested in the long, stretched borders east adjacent to Iraq. Ending the battle there means cutting one of the liveliest channels for supply for the opposition fighters. Most importantly, it puts to rest the idea of embattling Damascus and finishing it.

Those known to be within the ranks of Arab regimes that support the opposition in Syria admit that the Syrian army is making important gains on the ground, taking advantage of the dissociation of the armed groups and their infighting and the receding logistical support from the opposition’s regional “friends” specifically.

The Jordanian officials are not giving any public statements about imminent battles near the borders. But the statements given by some of the officials about the expected waves of refugees’ means some expect new developments within the upcoming weeks.

The officials concerns are escalating because of the consequences of the continued chaos on the border, which is racking in risks — an increase in the infiltration attempts, weapons smuggling, increase in drugs trade, extremist fighters travelling both ways, and the influx of hundreds of Syrian refugees into Jordan and what it means economically and from a security point of view.

The Jordanian authorities are still dealing with the armed groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, which controls the crossing points between the two countries. But such cooperation remains governed by variables taking place daily in the battlefields, and cannot be reliably considered a permanent institutional framework between the two parties.

As such, it is not surprising that Jordan prefers the scenario where the Syrian troops would take control of the border areas. In this regard, we should consider a report published by Khaberni.com yesterday, stating that a Jordanian security official visited Damascus, and demand that the Syrian authorities impose control over the border areas, as the only way to secure this border in the face of the growing security breaches.

However, a step like this, if true, indicate a qualitative shift in the official position of Jordan, following an on the ongoing shift in the balance of powers on the ground in favor of the regime, accompanied by unmistakable indicators to the collapse of confidence in the ability of the Syrian opposition to take responsibility, and stop fighting internally.

It is no secret that many of the high-level officials in Jordan have become convinced that the Syrian opposition has failed to be an alternative to the Syrian regime.

Observers of the situation in Daraa and its environs confirm that the Syrian regime has the capacity to resolve the battle with the opposition if it decides to take it up. If that actually happens, the facts will impose themselves on the ground, and Jordan will find itself dealing with the Syrian regime again. 

@fahed_khitan

 

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.

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