Assassinations in Daraa

Summary: A string of assassinations in the Syrian province of Daraa underscores how high the stakes are in a struggle for ascendancy between Russia and Iran in the south of the country. 
A  recent wave of assassinations in the southern Syrian province of Daraa are a sign of a delicate, albeit brutal, balancing act President Bashir al-Assad is attempting to manage in a region still not fully under his control.

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2 thoughts on “Assassinations in Daraa”

  1. Thanks for this: it would be a stronger piece if there was any evidence presented for statements like these three:
    Iranians would like to see, with their backing, fully in the regime’s hands: such an outcome would provide them with another point from which to threaten the Israelis should the latter be pushing for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
    Also “Iran….carrying out its own killings…..” And “Iranian ambitions for Daraa…”
    Sounds like speculation with an agenda, unless it can be shown to be true.

    1. The points raised were addressed in links embedded in yesterday’s article. Concerning Iranian intentions in the region we referred readers to this Washington Institute paper by Bassam Barabandi published 2 June 2020 which says in part: “For the Iranian angle, the southern area has major strategic importance for the regime’s ally, which is trying to create a foothold near the border with Israel. Such a foothold would provide it with leverage if Iran were to become subject to an American-Israeli military campaign.”
      Concerning Iranian-linked assassinations yesterday’s article also contained a link to a paper published by Chatham House in January 2020 by Walid Nofal that reads in part: “However, it does appear that Hezbollah and the Iranian militias, which are trying to make incursions into southern Syria, are behind a majority of the assassinations of those opposed to their presence in the region – whether opposition or regime forces. The military leader of the Fifth Assault Corps in East Daraa (a local militia supported by Russia and formed after the reconciliation process with former opposition fighters) confirmed this, citing that the pattern of assassinations was carried out by ‘guns with silencers’.”

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