by Ninar al-Ra’i
This study aims to analyse the social, political and security policies through which the Syrian regime is attempting to reassert its authority in Eastern Ghouta more than a year after it regained military control over the area. To that end, this study focuses on three towns – Saqba, Kafr Batna and Zamalka – located in the middle sector of Eastern Ghouta, which was previously under the control of Faylaq al-Rahman.
The paper first examines the return of the security state, including Iranian-backed auxiliary forces and Russian support for certain security agencies and military units. It also offers an overview of the limited provision of public services and discusses how the Government of Syria has forged partnerships with United Nations agencies and other international organisations to fill the gaps left by state institutions.
The paper concludes with an examination of the local political and religious intermediaries through which the regime is consolidating its mechanisms of social and political control in the post-surrender context