There has been much talk about a change in Jordan’s position on the crisis in Syria.
While multiple factors require a shift in strategy, the implications of the confrontations in the south of Syria, following the battle of Aleppo, on national security are the most pointed.
The expected military escalation in Syria is bound to be quite different from anything seen so far in the crisis, and the only priority now should be to eliminate Daesh and other terrorist groups.
This means the global priority in this respect is fully aligned with Jordan’s national security concerns.
The threat of escalation on Jordan’s northern borders remains, especially given the possibility of a large-scale battle in Daraa and later in Raqqa, and this will bound to have repercussion on Jordan’s internal security.
Recently, Jordan participated in the second round of meetings on Syria in Astana, proof that Amman is engaging in a key role in the Syrian crisis.
The Astana meeting followed King Abdullah’s visit to Moscow, where he met with President Vladimir Putin.
Jordan’s Air Force has also been bombing Daesh positions in southern Syria, further demonstrating a shift in strategy.
The official line on these bombings was that the decision was taken independently of the activities of the international coalition on Syria, suggesting that it must have been coordinated with Russian or Syrian counterparts.
Jordan’s national security must be the major factor in determining its policy on Syria, and in choosing reliable partners in the fight against Daesh and other terrorist groups.
It is imperative that Jordan plays a role in protecting the ceasefire agreement in southern Syria by putting pressure on Syrian opposition groups to accept a political settlement and ensure the success of the Astana talks and agreements.
Jordan’s role in the south of Syria is similar to that of Turkey in the north.
The objective is a successful peace agreement in Syria to secure the Kingdom’s strategic security and economy interests.
Reopening the border with a stable Syria will position Jordan as a key player in rebuilding the country, resettling refugees in safe areas and removing the economic pressure.