Saturday, 6 February 2016

The turning tide in Syria

Washington Post: Syrian rebels are losing Aleppo and perhaps also the war

By GPD on February 5, 2016
Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, broke through rebel lines near Aleppo just days after U.N.-backed peace talks were put on hold.

[ Editor’s note: Oh how it pains them, the writers at the Post, after years of fabrications about non-existent “moderate terrorists,” to accept a defeat that could only happen if the vast majority of the Syrian people were behind Assad and the Syrian Arab Army.

Also left out of the story is the both military and political momentum of the Syrian militants taking advantage of the amnesty offer to not only lay down their arms. They are now fighting inside the Syrian Army militias against the remaining foreign militants backed by the Western coalition.
If the terrorist supporters think they will turn the peace talks into a trip to “nowhere land”, then Damascus will keep retaking Syrian territory to consolidate its interior lines not only for continued fighting but for getting humanitarian aid back into needed areas and the refugees returning.
That will build even more support for Assad and the Syrian Army, and guess who knows that? Meanwhile Russia is cycling all of its pilots through the combat zone so they are are experience veterans, and all of its new weapons technology is getting field tested to refine it even more..Gordon Duff ]

– First published … February 05, 2016 –
GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Syrian rebels battled for their survival in and around Syria’s northern city of Aleppo on Thursday after a blitz of Russian airstrikes helped government loyalists sever a vital supply route and sent a new surge of refugees fleeing toward the border with Turkey.

The Russian-backed onslaught against rebel positions in Aleppo coincided with the failure of peace talks in Geneva, and helped reinforce opposition suspicions that Russia and its Syrian government allies are more interested in securing a military victory over the rebels than negotiating a settlement.
After two days of what rebel fighters described as the most intense airstrikes yet, government forces had succeeded on Wednesday in cutting off the rebels’ main supply route from the Turkish border to the portion of Aleppo city that remains under opposition control. On Thursday, the government captured several more villages in the surrounding countryside, prompting fears among residents and rebels that the city could soon be entirely surrounded.
The loss of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and the most significant urban center to fall, at least partially, under rebel control, would represent a potentially decisive blow to the nearly five-year-old rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The rebels have maintained control of much of Aleppo since they surged into the city in 2012, prompting U.S. intelligence assessments that they eventually would topple the government in Damascus.
Instead, Russia and Iran stepped up their assistance to the Assad regime, helping the government stem, then steadily reverse, the losses. Most of the pro-government forces now fighting in northern Aleppo province are Shiite militias from either Iraq or Afghanistan that have been recruited by Iran to help out its ally in Damascus, according to rebels and military analysts.
The intervention by the Russian air force, ostensibly intended to battle the Islamic State, has mostly targeted moderate rebels, tilting the military balance in favor of Assad and enabling the government’s spurt of gains in recent weeks.
read more (whining) at Washington Post

Saudi military intervention in Syria amounts to war: Russian deputy
A Russian deputy has warned Saudi Arabia that any military ground operation in Syria without the Damascus government's consent amounts to a declaration of war.

Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the State Duma committee
Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the State Duma committee
5 February, 2016

"Syria has to give official consent, to invite, otherwise it will be a war. The same applies to international law," Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the State Duma committee, told Interfax on Friday.
Krasheninnikov said that by promising a ground operation in Syria Riyadh now "intends to send troops to the territory of a sovereign state essentially without declaring a war."
Saudi Arabia on Thursday voiced readiness to participate in any ground operations in Syria if the US-led coalition allegedly targeting terrorists decides to start such operations.
US State Department spokesman John Kirby also welcomed the Saudi decision.
Saudi Arabia is a member of the so-called US-led coalition that has been conducting air raids against what are claimed to be the Daesh terrorists inside Syria without any authorization from the Syrian government or a UN mandate since September 2014.
The US-led strikes have on many occasions targeted infrastructures and left many civilians dead.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said during an interview in March 2015 that the US-led military campaign does not aim to “do away” with the terror group.
Washington and its regional allies, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have been backing militants fighting against the Syrian government and people. Since the Syria conflict started in 2011, they have been providing military and financial aid to the militants who are accused of widespread war crimes and crimes against civilians.

Meanwhile these are the headlines in the western press

Aidagencies scramble as 20,000 Syrians reach Turkish border crossing

Tens of thousands flee ongoing Russian airstrikes and pro-Assad ground assaults on Aleppo and surrounding town

Syrian government forces in north choke opposition supply lines

Assault in northern Aleppo province, backed by hundreds of Russian airstrikes, prompts tens of thousands of people to flee

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