February 8th, 2016.
Loyalist Victories Prove Russian Presence Has Transformed the Syrian War.
Aleppo victories mean that Insurgents Northern supply line has been severed.
Aleppo City pocket almost encircled.
After four months of Russian Airstrikes the situation in Syria has been transformed and in the past several weeks the Loyalist forces have won important victories in the North and South of Syria with the capture of the key crossroads town Sheikh Miskeen in the South as well as the key towns Salma and Rabia in the northern Latakia province.
Those important victories have this week been eclipsed by the major achievements in Aleppo where the sieges of the towns Zahra and Nubil were lifted after forty months and the loyalist forces have now cut off the insurgents in Northern Aleppo from their supply lines via the Aleppo countryside and the Turkish border. Both sides are taking heavy casualties but the Syrian Army and allies are achieving their objectives, the insurgents are dying and at the same time losing territories they fought hard for years to capture and hold.
Residents Nubl and Az-Zahra meet liberators
International Military Review – Syria, Feb. 8, 2016
International Military Review – Syria, Feb. 4, 2016
International Military Review – Syria, Feb. 5,
SAA/Hezbollah Operations in North Aleppo: Ratyan
Syrian Army And Hezbollah In Heavy Clashes During Assault On Northern Aleppo
Battles for Syria | February 5th 2016 | Aleppo province
Battles for Syria | February 6th 2016 | North Aleppo Front | Mayer
Battles for Syria | February 7th 2016
Battles for Syria | February 7th 2016 | Aleppo province
Syria: Syrian Army makes push to fully encircle Aleppo
The Suffering is Immense.
There should be no mistake about the fact there is an immense amount of suffering currently being visited upon the beleaguered people of Syria, nor that the Russian/Syrian air campaign is playing a significant role in this suffering and death.
While many of the areas of fighting in Syria are devoid of civilians, having been emptied during previous battles, many people live in rebel held areas of Idlib, Aleppo and several other provinces and civilians in these areas have died in large numbers at the hands of Russian and Syrian airstrikes targeting militant positions.
The insurgent and Western media propaganda line that Russian Airstrikes are targeting civilians is not supported by facts or logic, but the idea that the Russian Air-force are launching thousands of airstrikes without killing civilians is equally ludicrous and the Russian media do themselves no credit the way they have completely ignored the civilian deaths the air campaign has caused.
Despite this the Syrian-Russian-Iranian operation is worthy of support because a victory for the insurgents in Syria would not see an end to the fighting but would lead to fracture and descent into chaos as competing insurgent warlords vied for power.
Previous victories in Afghanistan and more recently in Libya have seen this descent into chaos and failed statehood status. If the likes of Jaish al Islam, Ahrar al Sham, al Nusra and ISIL/Daesh were vying for power the results would be almost identical to the process that has seen the once thriving Libyan state become a failed and broken state and a base for the extremists who threaten to attack the West and bring instability to wherever they operate.
The only party with any chance of stabilising the situation is the Syrian state, deeply flawed as it is. All other paths lead to long term mayhem and broadening instability.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia threaten invasion of Syria.
Saudi Arabia and the mini me Gulf States the UAE and Qatar have responded to this situation by suggesting that they will send troops into Syria to “battle Daesh.”A pretext that should no longer fools anyone.
The Gulf coalition are clearly already suffering a severe shortage of quality ground forces, hence their need to deploy Blackwater/Academi/Xe mercenaries in large numbers on the ground in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is also suffering regular cross border raids from their Yemeni enemies.
As far as Turkey goes they are not going to be able to do anything significant in Syria without the assent of the US and there is little chance of that happening given that the key Turkish target in Syria is the key US ally, the YPG Kurds. It is a non-starter even by Erdogan’s loose standards.
The US has no interest in choosing between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds, but a leadership change in Turkey may allow the US to solve the dilemma in another manner.
Turkey still supports the regime change operation in Syria but they are not about to attack the Syrian Army inside Syria and find themselves under bombardment from the Russian Air force.
One option they may seek to take would be to corral the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the Aleppo fighting within Syria and send a “protection force” to institute the long mooted (and even announced in July 2015) safe zone in Northern Syria although whatever happens the presence in Syria of the Russian S400 anti aircraft and missile systems mean the proposed no fly zone is an impossibility short of open war with Russia and the highly factionalised US administration does not seem to support this project therefore it will not happen.
The US refused to support the safe zone prior to the Russian military involvement in Syria, back in July, when the risks and costs were far lower so it seems inconceivable that it would be supported at this time . At a moment of high desperation for the plotters the refugees will presumably be again used to try and rescue the situation.
Syria: Makeshift camp set up for refugees stranded at Turkish border
Messages of Despair and Pleas for help from Insurgents.
“This is my last video from the revolution in the north. Iran and Russia attacked us and the world made war on us destroying the green and the dry.( Apparent Google translate error) The Americans betrayed us and got us into this shameful situation. We thank our allies Turkey and Saudi and Qatar. We needed anti-aircraft weapons but we didn’t get them. So we have to pull out.”
Syria, Northern Aleppo, Militant in Rityan message to People before Withdrawing This Morning.
This video is quite horrific. It consists of a plea for unity among insurgent factions. The wounded fighter is named Abu Homs. It is hard to watch but serves as a reminder that real people are dying unnecessarily in this war. The Syrian opposition contains many Syrian who were duped, manipulated and sold a suite of false promises and lies from their sponsors.
This is what he looked like before he was wounded.
Wounded Insurgent’s Hospital Message
Ending the Carnage.
Even if the Syrian Arab Army and their allies are able to win every battle and destroy the insurgent formations, a political solution will still be required and the insurgents will have to be given some type of autonomy and increased participation in Syrian politics otherwise the insurhency will continue indefinitely long after the war ends, as has happened in Iraq.
The initial round of Syria peace talks were an empty farce with the opposition making the ridiculous demand that the Syrian Government and their allies stop fighting prior to the dialogue. It can only be hoped that the reality of their situation dawns upon them soon and a more realistic and conciliatory outlook will replace the delusional grandstanding that still dominate the opposition public narrative.