Jaume Renyer

per l'esquerra de la llibertat

15 de març de 2019
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Nou anys de guerra multidimensional a Síria

Avui s’escau el novè aniversari del començament de la revolta popular contra el règim d’Al-Assad arran de l’onada de primaveres àrabs iniciada a Tunísia al gener del 2011. La repressió de la dictadura va ser brutalment sagnant i va derivar en conflicte armat, inicialment de caràcter democràtic però ràpidament aprofitada pels successius grups jihadistes per convertir-la en una guerra de religió anti-occidental.

Posteriorment, estats veïns, com Turquia, Aràbia Saudita o Iran s’hi han anat afegint, canvianat de bàndol sovint i pactant, si calia, amb el Califat Islàmic. Les víctimes han estat les minories ètniques i religioses: iazadites, kurds, cristians, drusos. Hores d’ara, el buit deixat per la inacció dels EUA ha estat ocupat per Rússia i, sobrertot per Iran, que malda per enllaçar Beirut amb Teheran en un eix xiïta tot convertint el que resta de l’estat sirià en una plataforma d’agressió contra Israel.

La de Síria és la guerra multidimensional més llarga i complexa del segle XXI que està lluny d’haver-se acabat i d’una evolució tan incerta com el resultat final. Le Figaro publica avui una infografia il·lustrativa fent balanç dels vuit anys de guerra.

Malgrat la repressió la revolta reneix a les zones recuperades pel règim sirià: Jewish Forum, edició francesa, amplià el proppassat 17 de febrer una informació inicialment publicada per Caleb Weiss al digital nord-americà Long War Journal deu dies abans sobre una incipient resistència local al sud de Síria contra el genocida Al-Assad i els seus aliats iranians.

Post Scriptum, 9 d’octubre del 2019.

No sóc de cap manera un geoestratega però només amb sentit comú hom pot comprendre que, després de nou anys de guerra a Síra, resulti que totes les parts convenen que el dictador local és la millor sortida al conflicte (que es va desfermar en contra seva) no pot ser una bona solució. I encara pitjor, que els kurds que van plantar cara al Califat Islàmic siguin ara les víctimes dels estats que en van ser còmplices (Turquia, en primer lloc) amb el vist i plau d’Occident (no solament dels EUA sinó també de la UE).

Post Scriptum, 28 de juny del 2020.

Jean-Pierre Filiu publicà el proppassat 21 al seu bloc de Le Monde, “Un si proche Orient” aqueix apunt titulat: “En Syrie, la colère des minorités contre Assad“, explicant que les manifestacions anti-Assad al país dels drusos s’afegeix a la indignació cada cop més perceptible al si la comunitat alauita, la pròpia del dictador sirià.

Post Scriptum, 2 de març del 2021.

Avui s’ha fet públic el report de la comissió d’investigació de les Nacions Unides sobre la repressió del règim d’Al-Assad contra la seva pròpia població: Arbitrary Imprisonment and Detention – Report of the Commission of Inquiry of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Post Scriptum, 1 de juny del 2021.

Segons Le Figaro d’avui, Près de 500.000 morts recensés en Syrie en une décennie de guerre, selon l’ONG Observatoire syrien des droits de l’Homme (OSDH), un veritable genocidi que resta impune mercès a la complicitat multilateral que permet que el règim d’Al-Assad segueixi al poder després d’una farsa electoral aquiex passat cap de setmana.

Post Scriptum, 9 d’agost del 2021.

Ksenia Svetlova va publicar ahir aqueixa anàlisi al Jerusalem Post: The cradle of the Syrian revolution is burning again. A decade after Daraa rose up, the Assad regime is once more trying to break its will.

The streets of Daraa are empty these days, as if the war had returned to the city. The videos that appear on social networks under the hashtag #savedaraa are often grim – many houses were shelled by the Syrian army and completely destroyed and thousands of refugees are again leaving the city and nearby villages, fleeing yet another round of violence and hunger.

Daraa, an impoverished city surrounded by agricultural areas in southern Syria, became the cradle of the Syrian revolution in 2011. A decade later, it is still fighting against the oppressive regime and protesting negligence, poverty and violence, while Syrian President Bashar Assad is still trying to break its back. The fighting and the failure of the cease-fire agreement brokered a few years ago by Russia might produce serious destabilization in southern Syria and cause damage to regional security.

The end of federalism in Daraa?

In 2018, Russia, which had intervened in the Syrian civil war three years earlier and secured a military victory for Assad, was working hard to achieve a reconciliation agreement between Daraa’s rebels and the Syrian regime. While other rebel-held cities and areas were pounded from the air and bathed in blood, Daraa was an exception, since the agreement stipulated that the rebels would be allowed to keep control over Daraa al-Bilad (the Old City of Daraa and a few additional neighborhoods) and would not be deported to Idlib, the only rebel-held province in northeastern Syria.

“At that time Russia was definitely acting against the wishes of Bashar Assad, who believed that regime control should also be established in Daraa. But given the strategic position of Daraa, in close vicinity to the Israeli and Jordanian borders, Russia promoted the reconciliation agreement with the rebels in order to keep pro-Iranian elements away from Daraa,” Kirill Semenov, an expert on political and military issues in the Middle East with the Russian International Affairs Council, told The Media Line.

The understanding that was reached between the sides was based on the promise to integrate the rebel factions inside the Syrian 8th Brigade, a subdivision of the Russian-influenced Fifth Corps, he said.

By securing an agreement in Daraa that basically allowed for self-rule in the area, Moscow also aimed to promote federalism as a tool for stabilization in Syria. This idea was first proposed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in 2016. “If as a result of talks, consultations and discussions on Syria’s future state order … they come to an opinion that namely this [federal] model will work to serve the task of preserving Syria as a united, secular, independent and sovereign nation, then who will object to this?” Ryabkov said at the time.

Many things have gone wrong since the agreement was signed in 2018, as they often do in Syria. Some of the rebel factions declined to “reconcile with the regime” and continued with the kidnappings and the killings, while those that were bound by the agreement were not integrated into the 8th Brigade or the Fifth Corps because of Assad’s objections. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented over 1,100 incidents that involved weapons since June 2019; over 750 people, including 218 civilians, died in these incidents.

The battle over Iran’s presence in southern Syria

The million-strong Sunni population in the area did not conceal its rejection of Assad’s regime, while the regime never invested funds in this impoverished part of the country, in order to step up the economic pressure. In addition, many locals have reported over the years about the efforts of pro-Iranian elements – mainly Hizbullah as well as other Shia militias – to buy land and houses in the area and to promote Shiism.

“A few months ago, some members of my family in the village of Tafas were approached by men who belonged to one of the pro-Iranian militias. They offered the youngsters to join them and promised good pay, a few hundred dollars a month. Our people do not have any employment opportunities; unemployment is soaring. So, some youths are tempted to join these factions and some of them even convert and become Shia,” Jamal al-Khourani, a Syrian refugee who lives in Berlin, told The Media Line. His story is corroborated by many other residents of the Daraa region, who testify to the increasing efforts by pro-Iranian elements to take over control of land, homes and souls.

Things finally exploded after the presidential elections in May 2021. “The people of Daraa rejected these elections and were very loud about that; they boycotted the elections. The regime didn’t forgive this behavior and decided that since the agreement produced by Russia was limited in time, it had every right to make its move and take back control over Daraa,” said Semenov.

A few weeks ago, the regime began to blockade Daraa and attempted to take over rebel-held areas in the city. The population had to struggle with hunger and a lack of medicine and potable water. Then the local militias kidnapped a few dozen Syrian soldiers, and during the last nearly two weeks the Syrian army has been brutally attacking Daraa. Attempts to achieve a renewed cease-fire have so far failed. For the regime, Daraa is important because it has become a symbol of the Syrian revolution. Also, Daraa today is perhaps the only area where Assad can display power without risking serious confrontation with Turkey or the US.

The Iranians and their proxies have never abandoned their grand plan to establish a presence in southern Syria, close to the border with Israel. If Russia gives up Daraa, it might suffer reputational damage in Syria and a blow to its strategic interests, since takeover of the city by Syrian government forces and pro-Iranian militias would create a new reality in the region.

One possible consequence might be a change in Israeli military strategy toward the developments in southern Syria that would further complicate the situation and likely put increased strain on Russian-Syrian relations. Ten years after the revolution in Syria began, Daraa has become a morass of myriad entangled regional and international interests and ambitions, all while the bloodshed continues.

Post Scriptum, 24 d’abril del 2022.

Avui, els analistes de l’INSS, hi publiquen aqueixa reflexió: 11 Years of War in Syria. Situation Assessment.

Post Scriptum, 29 d’agost del 2022.

Abans d’ahir a The Times of Israel: “Des détails choquants sur le massacre de 700 Syriens par le régime en 2012. Suite à l’enquête parrainée par le Syrian British Consortium, les témoignages sur les atrocités commises à Daraya font état d’une “attaque systématique contre les civils”.

Post Scriptum, 16 de maig del 2023.

Avui, a Le Figaro, escriu, Syrie : comment expliquer le retour en force de Bachar al-Assad sur la scène internationale ?

Post Scriptum, 25 de setembre del 2023.

L’analista Carmit Valensi, hi analitza al INSS Insight No. 1766, September 20, “Protests, Drugs, Violence, and Israeli Airstrikes: Syria and the Regional Normalization with Assad“.

Segons publicà ahir The Times of Israel “Conflit en Syrie : au moins 4 360 morts en 2023, selon l’OSDH. Le régime d’Assad a repris le contrôle d’une grande partie du territoire avec l’appui de ses alliés russe et iranien, mais les forces kurdes syriennes contrôlent de vastes régions du nord et nord-est”.

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