The Syrian campaign on Jordan

تم نشره في Wed 11 February / Feb 2015. 01:00 AM

By Fahed Khitan

At a time when the Jordanians engulfed in anger after the heinous crime committed by the terrorist Islamic State against martyr pilot Muath Kasasbeh, and while the Jordanian fighter jets bombed terrorist strongholds in Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, and Mosul, the pillars of the Syrian regime launched a blistering attack on Jordan.

The reason for the attack is that opposition groups considered affiliated with Jordan in the south of Syria began to move against the Syrian army in Khirbet Ghazaleh, and other areas, which paves the way for them – as per the regime’s forecasts - to tighten the embargo on Damascus.

Before the Syrian diplomatic offensive, a fierce campaign in media affiliated with the Syrian regime began against Jordan, initiated by the editor in chief of the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper, very close to Damascus and Tehran, Ibrahim al-Amin, in an editorial that reached the dignity of Jordanians, their army, and their King, at a moment when the whole world was standing in solidarity with Jordan.

The tone of al-Amin and others from the writers of the Syrian regime was low, and lacking in manners, and the underlying hatred towards Jordan and its people. No less were the idiotic and shallow comments of Walid Muallem about Jordan's role in the war on terrorism. The rhetoric of revenge was clear after IS crime against us, and by writers who claim to be anti-terrorism and crimes.

For me and for many observers of the situation in Syria, it seems unrealistic that Jordan will start a battle with the Syrian regime, or support forces against him, at a time when it is running an open confrontation with the terrorists in Syria, where Jordan rallied all available military capabilities against them.

Many officials were surprised of the charges; it is unbelievable that the state institutions, the military and security engaged around the clock in intensive efforts to counter the threat of terrorists, and conduct a war with IS, will have the luxury of wasting time in moving the factions of the oppositions in southern Syria, starting a battle with the Syrian regime.

There is definitely a confrontation in Dara’a and its environs, and along the areas around the capital, Damascus. But the movements are not surprising; some of them are directed against the Syrian army, and against the sovereign regime centers in Damascus, and others between armed groups settling accounts, and the Syrian regime knows these details more than anyone else.

Jordan has identified, and unequivocally, its priorities in Syria before IS crime against the martyr pilot. King Abdullah II has confirmed only a few weeks ago, for the second time, that addressing the threat posed by terrorist groups in Syria is a priority for Jordan. The pillars of the Syrian regime know how much pressure Jordan resisted to facilitate the entry of fighters and weapons into Syria. They know that had Jordan caved in to the pressure, Damascus would not have been as it is today.

It is no secret that Jordan has close relationships with the opposition groups in southern Syria. But these links and the consequent support are relevant for the Jordanian security, and not relevant for the ongoing conflict in Syria.

If the target of the intensified attack on Jordan is to push it to enter into an alliance with Damascus, the way they have chosen to achieve this end is primitive, and shows ignorance in the rules of alliances and international relations, and the existing alignments in the region. In the best case scenario, it is a very early call, the time of which has not come yet.

The Syrian regime, its men, and its media should leave Jordan to face the challenge, and should spend their time working on their disasters; we are lost in the sea of their wisdom and advice, without which we would not have dreamed that our planes would bomb Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition