Several months have already passed since the de-escalation agreement in Syria was signed. Besides the areas in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor previously controlled by ISIS, the agreement has delineated 8 Syrian provinces, and has brought about enough of a calmness in some provinces. Whilst, other areas included in the de-escalation agreement, such as eastern Ghouta and Idlib, have witnessed an unprecedented escalation which often seems worse than it was before the agreement.
Last July in Amman, Jordan, the FSA’s southern front and the guarantor states set up the de-escalation zones to include Dara’a and the southern region helping to alleviate the pressure on the residents after years of war and destruction.
Consequently, humanitarian organizations and the residents in the southern region have intensified their efforts in rebuilding the infrastructure that had been destroyed by the regime and its allies. The region has also witnessed hundreds of service projects in health, water, electricity, sanitation and services sectors, among others. This has occurred correspondingly with the return of Dara’a residents who had been previously displaced to Jordan. Jordanian officials have estimated the numbers as more than 13,000 Syrians recently returned to Syria, attributing it to the de-escalation agreement.
In the past few days, Syrian and foreign media outlets reported that the de-escalation agreement in the southern region is approaching its end, anticipating an impending escalation in the south as the ceasefire is set to end on February 7th. However, the southern region is still holding up within the framework of the de-escalation agreement, as all southern front commanders confirmed to SY24.
One military commander in the southern front stated to SY24, “As opposed to the northern areas such as Idlib, where the first phase of the de-escalation agreement is set to expire in 6 months. The agreement in the southern region that was signed in Amman did not have an expiry date, not 6 months nor a year”.
In their anticipation of the end of the de-escalation agreement in the southern region, the media outlets have relied on political analyst, such as Christopher Kozak, a Senior Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, who said, “All the signs are pointing towards impending escalation”. Meanwhile, the official sources from the signatories to the agreement, such as the parties concerned, have denied these rumors.