Daraa back to fore ... mirroring ongoing tensions between intervening powers

With the Syrian crisis is about to end its tenth year, Daraa governorate is back to the forefront after the recent build-ups of the Damascus government forces and the Fourth Division loyal to Iran, and Syrian political analyst Ghayath Na'isa confirms that this reflects the ongoing tensions between the intervening forces in the country.

The situation has worsened again in Daraa, which of a great strategic importance, in southern Syria near the Syrian-Jordanian border, and links the geographical areas with the capital, Damascus, and is important to the various parties in Syria, as it is located near the occupied Golan and the Israeli border, in addition to its symbolism in the Syrian revolution, as the spark erupted from it in the spring of 2011.

Daraa back to the forefront after the government forces and the Fourth Division, known for its loyality to Iran, threatened to storm it if the militants did not hand over their light and heavy weapons, after the increase in assassinations in the area.

'Russian settlements..'

Large parts of Daraa Governorate during the Syrian crisis were under the control of armed groups, but after the cessation of West's support for the militants and the entry of Russia and Israel to the line and some MOU between the interveners, the government forces began in June 2018 their military campaign in southern Daraa, backed by Russia, and ended nearly early August. Government forces quickly took control of the northeastern parts of the governorate, before moving towards the border with Jordan.

During the campaign, the negotiations led by Russia between the government and the representatives of the armed men were in Busra al-Sham in the governorate. This process resulted in the establishment of areas in which the government security services was either weak or non. The government of Damascus was represented in efforts to obtain surrender agreements from the militants, in order to be able to establish a stronger security presence.

The "Forces of Sunni Youth" group, was the first faction to accept Russia's terms in July 2018, while others, including militants concentrated in Daraa and Tafas, and some civilian representatives, opposed the deal at the beginning, describing it as "insulting." Every time the armed groups left the negotiating table, Russia and the government would escalate their attacks against them and succeed in controlling new areas, after which the armed groups would ultimately be subject to Russia's conditions.

Russia agreed during the first settlement with the armed groups that the government's security apparatus and military forces stationed outside these areas, will not carry out major operations, similar to arrests, within the scope of this spot, but the settlement allowed the return of civilian and regulatory government institutions, such as municipal councils.

 Based on this settlement, the militants were able to settle their security situation and joined the ranks of the Fifth Corps, supported by Russia.

'Damascus does not accept outside its control areas'

Despite the public Russian settlements, and some of them were secretly proposed, the Damascus government remained dissatisfied with the situation in southern Syria, and this has been confirmed repeatedly by government officials, as it does not accept outside its control areas.

Despite these settlements, and the exit of those who did not want it to Idlib, where the mercenary groups supported by Turkey, especially the Headquarters of Tahrir Al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra and classified on the list of international terrorism), the bombings, assassinations and targeting government forces checkpoints have not stopped.

In May 2020, the Damascus government took advantage of the killing of nine local police officers at the hands of former militants, to reinforce its positions in the southwestern parts of Daraa Governorate, and the government sent military units to upgrade its presence in the area that its control had until then was limited.

'Government forces wave a large operation'

On January 20, the Fourth Division, led by Maher al-Assad, began mobilization in Daraa Governorate, represented by dozens of vehicles, including tanks and trucks loaded with military and logistical equipment, in addition to soldiers towards the city of Daraa, coming from the capital, Damascus.

The Fourth Division established new checkpoints in several areas, such as one next to Al-Kansoura in the town of Al-Muzayrib and the Masaken checkpoint, and roads were closed to the civilian movement.

On Monday, the Damascus government forces and the Fourth Division demanded a group of dignitaries to hand over or deport 8 people to northern Syria within 72 hours, and to hand over weapons in the city of Tafas, to avoid a violent military operation in the region. On Thursday to implement its demands.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the meeting took place in the presence of representatives of the Russian side and the Russian military police, which threatened to use the air force if the demands were not implemented until the deadline expired.

In this context, the Syrian opposition and political analyst Ghayath Na`isa confirms that the current tension in Daraa and southern Syria, in fact, reflects the ongoing tensions between the intervening powers in the country, Russia, Iran-the regime, Turkey and the United States.

He said: "The regime with Iran feels that the situation in Daraa is losing its control with the increasing marginalization of it and Iran in favor of Russia and its Fifth Corps, in addition to the fact that the skirmishes that periodically afflict the elements of its forces, including fighters opposed to it, have contributed to the shattering of its control over Daraa, despite the fact that the regime forces." It tried to storm Tafas, but failed, and is using the Russians again to reach a settlement there. "

And Na`issa indicated that Russia is seeking (in agreement with Israel) to reduce and limit the Iranian presence - and the Fourth Division is affiliated with Iran to its maximum limits, in favor of "militias" affiliated with Russia.

He added, "The regime is in a very weak position, but by relying on its allies Iran and Hezbollah, it is still able, within narrower borders, to disturb Russia in its project to drive Iran out of southern Syria and the rest of the regions, which is in line with US interests as well."

At the end of his speech, the Syrian opposition and political analyst Ghayath Na`issa pointed out that the main players are the intervening and occupying countries of Syria, and the secondary players are Syrians with all their military names.



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