Over the past years of the Syrian crisis, the Baathist regime has adopted the approach of exporting the internal crisis outside its areas of control, accusing the actors on the ground, and paying the attention of the Syrian interior to north and east Syria areas.
Before issuing any statements by any political forces in north and east Syria or even media outlets in the areas of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) regarding the Autonomous Administration opening an office in Geneva, Switzerland, the pro-government Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) rushed to publish a statement issued by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemning this step, as the regime accused the AANES of secession and support for foreign agendas aimed at undermining Syrian sovereignty, in addition to accusing Switzerland of violating international norms and UN charters.
Of course, this step of plotting and distorting the facts is a method that the ruling regime in Syria has resorted to since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, in an attempt to hide its political and diplomatic failures.
Recently, the Syrian regime, especially its media outlet SANA, has intensified its campaign of demonizing the AANES and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Of course, a hypothesis cannot be excluded that there were some events took place in Hasakah and Shaddadi, including incidents of murder, kidnapping and disappearance, but they were plotted by the Baathist regime, as it promoted that there was an insecurity state in the AANES areas. Also, in all its media publications and news reports, it emphasized on the term of “the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces”, which can be concluded that it falls within the framework of addressing the Syrian interior more, and deliberately insulting the AANES.
Regarding the economic crisis taking place inside Syria, which had recently reached the Syrian coast, especially Tartus governorate, the regime, again, accused the AANES and the SDF of being behind the crisis it is witnessing. Doing so, the regime aims to calm the Syrian interior and increase tension towards the regions of north and east Syria, and the AANES in particular.
As a result of the state of tension that appeared in the regime-controlled areas, last month, some civil and clan notables were seen demonstrating – or as they claim – south of Manbij – the areas under its control – holding photos of the regime’s President Bashar al-Assad and the regime’s flags and demanding the entry of the Syrian army into the city of Manbij. Note that a number of those who demonstrated, spoke in a video clip posted on some social media, about the necessity of removing (the Kurds) from Manbij, in addition to the advantages that they claim to have obtained by the Kurds and the marginalization of the role of the Arabs. These terms used by these protesters are very similar to the media discourse of the Baathist regime over the past few days.
In the context of the regime’s moves in the areas of north and east Syria, several direct targeting against the SDF – through motorcycles and targeting military vehicles – have recently taken place. By looking at the method and area of targeting, most of these operations take place in the areas of the regime’s settlement representatives, including (Jdeidat Akidat, Jdeidat Bakara, al-Shuhail, Thiban), which are areas located on the Euphrates River, as after the operations, the perpetuators immediately flee towards the regime-controlled areas.
Based on the abovementioned, we conclude that the attempts of the Baathist regime to politically and diplomatically influence on the Autonomous Administration, have failed, and that the military, security and economic benefits witnessed by the regions of north and east Syria during the past months prompted the Baathist regime to intensify its offensive campaigns to target the Autonomous Administration areas, which primarily target the public through undermining the confidence of the communities of north and east Syria in the Autonomous Administration and the Syrian Democratic Forces.