Logo Wide

Syria Today – Parliamentary Elections Nearing… What’s a Stake?

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – Parliamentary Elections Nearing… What’s a Stake?

The Atlantic Council has published a study discussing this summer’s upcoming elections for the Syrian People’s Assembly, held in government-controlled areas under Bashar al-Assad. The paper says the elections are part of a series designed to maintain the Baath Party’s control. These elections occur amidst significant displacement, ongoing conflict, and stringent regime control, with no real prospects for free or fair voting. Concurrently, elections in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) and the formation of a Supreme Electoral Committee in northwest Syria highlight regional efforts to organize governance, though the integrity of these processes is also questionable.

The article anticipates that the main role of the newly elected parliament will be to amend the constitution to allow President Assad to run again in 2028, continuing a pattern of manipulated constitutional changes to sustain regime power. Despite the setup of the UN-facilitated Syrian Constitutional Committee for potential reforms, it has been inactive, stalling any meaningful progress toward resolving Syria’s political crisis under UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for inclusive and transparent elections.

The registration process for the elections is behind schedule, further casting doubt on their legitimacy, while international actors like Russia continue to legitimize the flawed electoral process. Overall, the upcoming elections are viewed as another step in perpetuating Assad’s regime rather than a genuine opportunity for political reform or resolution.

Syria strives to stay out of Gaza war: experts

Syria has avoided getting embroiled in the Gaza war, experts said, despite a strike on Iran’s Damascus consulate, blamed on Israel, that threatened to ignite a regional conflagration, AFP has reported.

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seeking to strike a delicate balancing act between Russia and Iran, which have propped up it up during 13 years of civil war and helped it reclaim lost territory.

Syria is part of the so-called Axis of Resistance — an alliance of Iran-backed groups that has launched attacks on the Islamic republic’s arch-foe Israel or its alleged assets since October.

But its other main ally Russia maintains diplomatic ties with Israel and has pushed for stability in Syria’s south, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

“The Israelis clearly warned Assad that if Syria was used against them they would destroy his regime,” said a Western diplomat who requested anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the media.

Recent months have seen a series of strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, widely blamed on Israel, culminating in an April 1 raid that levelled Tehran’s consulate in Damascus and killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards, two of them generals.

That strike prompted Iran to launch a first-ever direct missile and drone attack against Israel on April 13-14 that sent regional tensions spiralling.

The attacks have also pushed Iran to reduce its military footprint throughout southern Syria, especially in areas bordering the Golan, a source close to Hezbollah and a war monitor told AFP.

KDP official warns of danger in return of ISIS relatives from al-Hol camp to Jeda’ah camp

In a stark warning, Vian Dakhil, spokesperson of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) faction in the Iraqi parliament, has voiced concerns over the Iraqi government’s decision to relocate relatives of ISIS fighters from the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria (Rojava) to the Jeda’ah camp in Nineveh.

Speaking to Kurdistan24 on Sunday, April 28, 2024, Dakhil emphasized the grave threat this poses to the region’s population, particularly the Yazidi Kurds.

“This move feels like reopening old wounds,” Dakhil remarked, highlighting the profound impact on the affected communities.

Dakhil called upon both the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments to prioritize the implementation of the Sinjar agreement, advocating for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the city and the return of refugees to their ancestral homes.

Despite the agreement being in place for several years, she lamented the presence of persistent obstacles hindering its execution.

The reluctance of many countries to repatriate their citizens from the al-Hol camp has exacerbated concerns.

Syrian Kurdish officials hand over 50 women and children linked to Islamic State group to Tajikistan

Kurdish-led authorities in northeastern Syria on Thursday handed over 50 women and children — family members of Islamic State militants — to a delegation from Tajikistan for repatriation back home.

According to AP, the 17 women and 33 children, all citizens of Tajikistan, were handed over to a delegation headed by the Tajik ambassador to Kuwait, Zubaydullo Zubaydzoda, Syrian Kurdish officials said.

After the Islamic State group declared its caliphate in large parts of Syria and Iraq in June 2014, thousands of foreigners, including hundreds from Tajikistan, came to Syria to join IS and live with their families in the so-called caliphate.

After IS was defeated, most of the militants family members were held in the sprawling al-Hol camp and the smaller Roj camp in northeastern Syria.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said the women and children were taken to the airport of Qamishli where they boarded a plane “to be reunited with their families” in Tajikistan on Thursday.



Helpful keywords