The Turning Tide of the Syrian War

Posted: November 29, 2016 in Uncategorized
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By Suliman Mulhem
According to circulating reports from Syria, pro-government forces have made significant advances in eastern Aleppo. The Syrian Arab Army, backed by allied militias and air support, has taken control of Hanano district and Jabal Badro in the space of around 48 hours.

The speed of the Syrian army’s recent gains in Aleppo are impressive, considering the urban battleground.

At the request of the Syrian government, Russian militarily intervened in the Syrian conflict in September 2015. Shortly before the arrival of Russian warplanes in Syria, the Syrian army suffered a string of defeats, most notably in Idlib province.

Since Russia’s intervention, the tide has turned, and Assad’s forces advanced on several key fronts. They managed to retake the ancient city of Palmyra, and lift the siege of the Kuweires airbase in Aleppo.
Given the presence of Russian military assets in Syria, it is virtually impossible for any opposing group to retake all of Syria. The provinces of Latakia and Tartus are considered to be the safest areas in Syria, due to the presence of Russian facilities.
Pre-war, these provinces were primarily populated with Alawites, as well as many Christians. As of November 2016, more than 1.5 million internally displaced Syrians, mainly Sunnis from Aleppo, live in Latakia.
Based on Donald Trump’s previous comments and narrative, many expect him to cut-off support to opposition forces in Syria, and potentially cooperate with the Syrian government to tackle Islamist groups in Syria.
Furthermore, Russia has placed its advanced S-300 and S-400 SAM systems in Syria, giving them the power to down enemy aircraft. Therefore, it is unlikely that the armed opposition will receive any direct military support (against pro-government forces) from their allies, for example a no-fly zone.
 Victory in Aleppo is crucial to the long-term success of the Syrian Army’s operations. It will serve as a huge morale boost, as well as allowing for thousands of pro-government fighters to be deployed elsewhere.
Based on recent developments, it is clear that Assad’s government has the advantage. Their advantage could potentially be further accentuated by the involvement of Iraqi militias in Syria.
Earlier this month, Hadi al-Amiri, a leader in the Iraqi PMU, said that President Assad has requested support from his group.
It has been speculated that they will enter Syria, and battle Daesh in the province of Deir Ezzor, once they have liberated Mosul. Thousands of Syrian soldiers have been trapped in Deir Ezzor for several years. Breaking the siege would free-up these soldiers (including 4,000 soldiers from the elite Republican Guard), allowing to fight on other fronts.
In the past year, many countries have changed their position on the Syrian crisis in favor of Assad. For example, in December 2015, the Pakistani Foreign Minister said that his country opposed any attempt to topple Assad.
More recently, the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi indicated his support for the Syrian government.
“Our priority is to support national armies, for example in Libya to exert control over Libya territory and deal with extremist elements. The same with Syria and Iraq,” al-Sissi said.
Syria and Egypt were part of a political union from 1958 until 1961, known as the United Arab Republic.
Although the war is far from over, it seems highly probable that the Syrian government will emerge victorious.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Uncloaked Precision/anthonychris82


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