From insurgents to soldiers : the fifth assault corps in Daraa, southern Syria
Title: From insurgents to soldiers : the fifth assault corps in Daraa, southern Syria
Author: AL-JABASSINI, Abdullah
Publisher: European University Institute
Series/Number: Middle East Directions (MED); Wartime and Post-Conflict in Syria; 2019/09
In July 2018, the Russian-brokered negotiations in Daraa governorate in southern Syria led rebels to capitulate. Embedded in the negotiations was Russia’s aim to integrate former rebels into the Fifth Assault Corps (FAC) under the leadership of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). To that end, Russia established the 8th Brigade of the FAC in Busra al-Sham in Daraa and supervised a process of ‘rebel military integration’ (RMI). This study commences with an overview of the FAC, discusses Russia’s objectives behind its creation and offers a useful typology of its constituents. Based on extensive interviews with senior military personnel and former rebels who joined the 8th Brigade, the paper unpacks the personal motives and incentives that shaped ex-rebels’ decisions to engage in RMI and investigates how the lack of a peace agreement shuffled their priorities and motives.
Subject: Daraa governorate; Fifth Assault Corps; Rebel Military Integration (RMI); Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR); Russia; Syria
Type of Access: openAccess