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[Photos] Homs: Despite arrival of Russian forces, convoy with displaced people from Quneitra is still blocked (6 hours now). Area NE. of Quseir (S. Homs) belongs to Hezbollah & allied pro-Iran militias (bombed several times by Israel past months). 3,391 ppl inside incl. 1,129 children.
2019 will be the deciding year I think. The north and the Al Tanf Area is still going to be an issue until the end of 2018 as the SAA recovers from the Ghouta and Daara campaigns. I have feeling by August-September a new offensive will begin, but given the terrain of Idlib, it will be slow and continue on into 2019
I doubt it will be slow, Daraa and especially Ghouta the rebels were deeply entrenched and fortified, they do not have the logistics and manpower to mount an extended defensive front, once they are breached they will fall one after the other and considering they aren't that united, they'll panic and it will become each man to his own, the 2018-19 rebels are much weaker than the 2012-15 rebels
Those area's are easier for mobile movement. When you hit Mountains, it bottlenecks movement. Look at Korea,Okinawa, Italy for example.
The rebels are nothing like the armies of Italy, Japan and Korea, those armies were unified and well supplied, no matter how tough the terrain the rebels are logistically and fundamentally flawed in terms of command structure, once one chip falls it'll become a domino effect, I can only see a little trouble in Latakia and Jabal Turkman but the SAA will obviously not start the offensive there it'll definitely be a westward push from the east
The Afghan Rebels weren’t particularly well supplied or unified either, and yet they still managed to hold out in the mountains against the Soviets for almost a decade.
Of course, the mountains in Northern Syria are much less ragged than those of Afghanistan, and the Rebels in the North are probably more exhausted and demoralized as well.
The Afghans still received received regular supplies from Pakistan and had camps there too. Similarly, the strength of the Idlib rebels will be highly dependent on what Turkey does.
Idlib will fall fast and the offensive will be from all fronts. The rebels defense will collapse fast
Well, yeah, this is heavily US-biaised. Interesting as a way of understanding how the US sees the issue, but certainly not to be taken as facts.
I think the minute following this part of the talk sums it up pretty well: the US is the only thing holding Syria together, it's totally delusional.
Not even near the end, IMHO. As Winston Churchill once said:
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
Rebellion in their moderate form and ISIL is militarily defeated. That said, their future fight will become scarce, a guerrilla like struggle, especially for ISIL, and that will gradually die out, in decades to come. But never completely.
The major and real struggle (war conflict) will be with more resilient threat and adversaries - basically: Turkish backed militia and Turkish regulars, second, Kurdish separatist forces, supported by US coalition and third, Israel preemptive actions against any threat which suit them and the US.
Those adversaries will not be expelled militarily - not by the Syria, even not with larger, true intervention and support by Syrian allies (in first place, by Russia). But, in that case, if US and Russia for example, become involved in full and open war - we all know what will be outcome...
For the fourth adversary, Salafi/Wahhabi and Al-Qaeda like/linked groups - they will be defeated gradually, but as with ISIL, that threat will never be eradicated.
And, that is not just Syrian problem - those Islamic fundamentalist, their insurgencies and terror groups, is much more complex and deeper problem, which can not be resolved without real and inner self cleanup, by all major Islamic religious groups. And that will not be the case in the foreseen future. If ever.
As matter of fact, with more and more liberal and rich Christian West (globally North), social difference between them and more and more rigid Islamic world will be bigger and bigger. And on top of that, booming population with less and less resources, may lead to true War between civilization and religions. To the some point, one can see Syrian Civil War as introduction and precursor of this struggle between rich North and poor South, liberal West and rigid East.
So, what is only hope and possibility for Syria to get rid of those occupying forces, is diplomatic solution. But not before the US and Russia, find common ground or even become allies again. And then they together may persuade Turkey to abandon Ottoman Empire restoration.
Summary - after campaign in South, and maybe limited operation in the Idlib (to regain Latakia, highway M5 and Idlib countryside), things will cool down - if the US-Russia relation, remain in frozen Cold war like status quo. If there will be open conflict between US/Israel vs Iran, then things can become more bloodier, but the major factor and then, will be US-Russia relation.
Its over when its over. If the west manages to somehow impose direct regime change in Syria, then its the end for Assad, but the failure of the west to quickly end the war (but instead prolong it) has made that impossible. otherwise, it looks like assad has won, as well as the kurds if they cede power to assad in order to not be completely destroyed by turkey.