AMMAN – In the coming weeks, between 10,000 and 20,000 men in southern Syria will get their last month’s pay from the US government.

The men are part of the Southern Front, a loose collaboration of dozens of anti-Assad, Western-vetted militias operating in Daraa and Quneitra provinces. For close to four years, they have been paid, armed and directed by the Military Operations Command, or MOC – a US-led support mechanism and weapons bridge operating out of Amman.

But before the month is out, that support and oversight will end as the US government, under a directive from President Donald Trump, ceases support for Syria’s anti-Assad rebels.

The end of the status quo

Southern Syria has been largely quiet for more than a year and a half, and particularly quiet since a truce began on 9 July when the US, Russia and Jordan agreed to support a de-escalation zone in Quneitra, Daraa and parts of Suwayda as part of the ongoing diplomatic process to achieve a sustainable peace in Syria.


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Featured image courtesy of AP