From the very first moment of the US Central Command’s announcement of the appointment of Muhammad Farid al-Qassem as commander of Maghawir al-Thawra to replace al-Talaa by force, in al-Tanf, southern Syria, it began showing interest and support for Qassem after a wave of large protests in Tanf and al-Rukban camp. Washington overcame it by force.
The latest of these moves was a meeting held on Saturday between Qassem and officials of the Washington-led international coalition. According to the Maghawir al-Thawra Twitter account, during the meeting, they discussed the situation in the region and ways to develop it in all fields. Five days have passed since the meeting between Qassem and the commander of the Joint Task Force, Major General MacFarlane.
Read Also: Recap: Maghaweer el Thawra Has a New Leader
The “Maghawir al-Thawra Twitter account also reported that Qassem ordered patrols on the Jordanian border. In this context, al-Modon quoted a military source from Maghawir al-Thawra as saying: “Washington has already begun to hold meetings with Jordanian intelligence, which has a headquarters at the Tanf base. This is to consider the mechanisms to be used with the aim of forming groups supported by it and increasing cooperation with others.” The source claimed that the proposal came at the request of Jordan due to the constant threats on its borders.
Maghawir al-Thawra’s talk about the security situation of the Syrian-Jordanian border came days after King Abdullah II of Jordan declared: “With the efforts of the Syrian and Jordanian armies and security services, border security has been ensured.”
Qassem’s first decision after taking office was to abolish all taxes imposed on commercial vehicles entering and exiting the 55 km area of Tanf. Days later, he received a delegation from the so-called Political Commission of Rukban Camp and tribal elders at al-Qaeda headquarters.
The announcement of the appointment of Farid Qassem as commander of Maghawir al-Thawra was through a video showing one of the officials in the US leadership receiving Qassem as the leader of the said faction. This video was broadcast hours after a statement issued by Maghawir al-Thawra to express their rejection of the appointment of Qassem as their leader. Protests began later and movements opposing the leadership of Qassem. The International Coalition, led by Washington, surrounded its base in Tanf and ordered the members in the base that do not belong to the “coalition” to leave without their weapons on foot. It was reported at the time that after the American blockade, it was agreed that he would peacefully take over the leadership without any problems.
It is noteworthy that Athr’s sources previously confirmed that the appointment of Qassem came on the advice of British intelligence. British forces threatened the opponents of Qassem to be removed from their positions while preventing them from leaving the de-escalation zone, known as the “55 km zone”.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.