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Successive Withdrawals From Three Regions initiative

In March of 2023, a coalition of opponents initiated The Three Regions project, encompassing al-Qarya in Suweida, Daraa al-Balad, and the northern countryside of Aleppo.
Successive Withdrawals From Three Regions initiative

In March of 2023, a coalition of opponents initiated The Three Regions project, encompassing al-Qarya in Suweida, Daraa al-Balad, and the northern countryside of Aleppo. Recent developments have seen withdrawals from this endeavour, notably the withdrawal of the so-called “Political Commission in Hassakeh Governorate,” aligned with the opposition coalition. Preceding this, Sheikh Ahmed al-Sayasneh from Daraa withdrew due to the initiative’s characterization of Syria as a secular state.

The initiative received mixed reactions. While some individual opposition figures abroad showed support, it faced resistance from key stakeholders. Sources from Aleppo’s northern countryside indicate the coalition and its affiliated armed factions reject the initiative, fearing it may challenge their political dominance and disrupt negotiations with Damascus. Similarly, Ankara-backed factions view it as conflicting with their religious beliefs. Moreover, groups like Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib vehemently oppose the notion of a secular Syria.

In northeastern Syria, the situation is complex. Although the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) leaders have expressed support, the initiative excludes the SDF, considering it a separatist entity and citing numerous violations. Kurdish sources suggest the SDF’s endorsement is a strategic move to gain acceptance within the opposition, given their exclusion from previous political processes. However, they believe the U.S., the primary supporter of the SDF, may not pressure their inclusion, preferring to keep them isolated to serve its own interests.

The SDF leadership acknowledges their vulnerability in the international consensus on Syria and anticipates being sacrificed by Washington to appease regional allies. Furthermore, the initiative’s withdrawal from Suwayda hints at efforts to reignite conflict in southern Syria, possibly to militarize the region, sever land routes to Jordan, and promote the idea of Syria’s federalization.

 

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.

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