The Military Council is a provisional functional body with a defined mission within a limited timeframe, namely to create a safe and neutral environment as an indispensable requirement for a successful political transition. Thus it draws its justification from UNSC resolution 2254. The council defines itself as a politically neutral institution designed to restore minimal stability and security to allow the rebuilding of the institutions of the Syrian State.
The leadership of the council has worked over several years on developing a security and stabilization plan which it has updated on an ongoing basis. They announced the existence of the Military Council in a public statement in January 2021.
1600 defected officers and 600 Non-Commissionned Officers declared their support to the Council and their readiness to work under its command.
Due to the background of the leading officers in the Council (formerly holding senior positions with no ideological or religious allegiance) and their relations with members of the regime’s security apparatus, this body has a strong potential to reassure all Syrian communities and to serve as a bridging structure with the governement’s security apparatus and other groups on the ground. It may be able to achieve what has seemed impossible to achieve with political figures to establish a transtional governing body.
SYRIAN PUBLIC SUPPORT
- Over 90 media sources have published information ? (different from support) and organized debates about the council, including two Russian sources. Dozens of debates are organized by Syrian think tanks and social media networks*.
- Leaders within the Kurdish-led Syrian Democrtic Forces have expressed their support for the council.
- Over 50 statements of support were issued by the tribes alone in different parts of the country. This is important because they represent a reservoir of large numbers of men as potential conscripts.
THE MILITARY COUNCIL AND THE GENEVA PROCESS
The Council is set to engage with all international actors. It can only succeed if key regional and international players agree to cooperate among themselves and commit to use their influence with their allies to make a negotiation productive. This international umbrella will signal to the government forces that a deal has become possible. Only then will the officers inside the security apparatus reveal their readiness to work with their former colleagues from the opposition.
The Council sees two options for its integration into the Geneva process:
- If the initial architecture of four tracks is maintained, the current leadership of the Council is ready to engage in negotiations with counterparts from the government side under the ‘Security governance and fight against terrorism’ (Basket 4) which was added at the request of the Syrian government in 2016.
- Form a joint military and security committee under UN auspices (inspired by the Libyan model) which will then set the ground for the political transition body to be formed.