Military Review

Syria at the finish line. A light in the end of a tunnel

The most important event that happened recently in Syria is not an American strike, or even a relatively successful reflection of it. Although it is certainly very important. But far more important is the reason that the Americans and their satellites were forced to take extraordinary measures, including preparatory provocation with "chemical weapons", Mobilization of controlled mass media all over the world, political artillery preparation and only then the attack itself. Yes, we are talking about the next military success of government troops supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Iranian military units.

The liberation of Eastern Guta, which was the largest terrorist enclave at that time inside the territories controlled by the Syrian government, was the reason for such a loud adventure of the US military. And you can even understand the Americans if you try to look at the situation from their side: the fruits of many years of efforts are becoming more and more ashes, and the largest enclave, located almost in the capital of Syria, is left without much resistance by the militants.

Perhaps someone will say that the importance of Eastern Guta for the pro-American terrorist underground was not that great. Well, some mortar shelling of the center of Damascus, minor sabotage against the units of the Syrian army - is this important against the background of all the changes taking place on the Syrian fronts?

Yes, it is very important. To begin with, the perimeter control of this enclave required quite a lot of effort from the Syrian armed forces. Full-fledged units of the army and the police could not be diverted to other areas where they, of course, would be very useful. At the same time, it is necessary to understand that in addition to the internal blockade ring, the army units were forced to provide a multi-kilometer control zone, saturated with roadblocks, sentinel and patrol units, army intelligence, and so on.

In addition to the release of units and divisions of the SAR Armed Forces, the threat of a surprise attack on Damascus, which could be critical in the event of an underestimation of the militants and the success of their formations, disappeared. That is, the enemy was so close to the center of the political life of Syria that even a small tactical success would immediately acquire important strategic importance.

As an example of such actions, we can recall the January attack of militants, cutting off the base in the city of Kharasta (the transport control of the Armed Forces, the location of the armored vehicles of the government forces). As a result of this small, by conventional standards, militant operations, the Syrian army was forced to undertake a fairly large-scale counterattack in terms of the number of forces and assets involved.

Surely the plans for such attacks, even if they were distracting, were developed by Western intelligence services and were taken into account when drawing up long-term forecasts of counteraction by the Syrian army and its allies. And now, when this threat is abolished, there are almost no chances to intercept the military initiative.

Add to this the significantly improved logistics in the region, the normalization (relative, of course) of the life of the remaining population in the region, the involvement of the released resources in industrial and agricultural circulation, and so on.

No, one should not underestimate the significance of this victory. Of course, this is not Aleppo, and not Deir ez-Zor, but it is a very important step in the consistent and steady improvement of the military situation in Syria. And if you consider that he unleashes the Syrian army and becomes a prologue to the next possible (and even very likely) successful offensive, it becomes clear why the Americans and the British made so much effort to prevent such a development of events.

Well, stating the next and very important success of the Syrian army, let's try to predict how the situation can develop further. Moreover, by the middle of summer Russia will have its hands untied, and its actions on the Syrian direction can become much tougher and more dynamic.

But first try to answer some questions.

Since Russia is operating in Syria is not in absolute vacuum, for a start, we should decide on what answer we should count on in this or that case. This means that the positions of three parties, either directly involved in the conflict, or located in close proximity to the expected combat zones, are extremely interesting.

The position of the United States and its allies is very clear: they will be strongly opposed to any success of the Syrian army in the region. The only question is how far Washington can go in trying to counteract the legitimate authority of Syria in its desire to bring order and legality in its country.

As recent events have shown, Americans are now in a strange "half-position": you need to demonstrate determination and confirm the status of the hegemon, but this has to be done with an eye to a possible answer, which will certainly lead to unacceptable domestic political consequences, or even less acceptable variant of military escalation involving world nuclear powers. And while it is difficult to imagine, the scale of the provocation must be organized by the American special services so that the American response that follows is truly fatal for the Syrian army.

True, there is one option, but it is not directly linked to Syria. I think many immediately guessed: this is Donbass. Probably only there the USA can create such problems for Russia that it will have to concentrate on the Ukrainian direction and, willy-nilly, to distract from Syria. But there is one nuance: after the World Cup and the launch of the first stage of the Crimean Bridge, Moscow will certainly feel less connected in its actions in the Ukrainian direction. This means that an adequate response is possible, which the Ukrainian army is hardly able to digest without much damage to its well-being.

Therefore, let us be careful in our assessments: an attempt to play all-in can lead Americans to a serious defeat on both fronts, but inaction still more faithfully deprives them of their conquered positions in Syria, gradually reducing everything to the need for a painless evacuation of the American military from the region.

It is noteworthy, by the way, that it is not the first time when Donald Trump speaks about the imminent withdrawal of Americans from Syria. It is clear that there is a huge distance from conversations to the withdrawal of troops. It is enough to remember that Barack Obama promised to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, running for the first presidential term. They, as is known, are still there, so it is worth taking such statements with great care. But as the preparation of the American administration for the worst case scenario for Washington, this sounds quite reasonable.

Another side carefully watching the developments is Israel. His position is clear: he is extremely negative toward Iran, whose military units are involved in the conflict on the side of official Damascus. But the limits of his patience and the price he is willing to pay for eliminating the Iranian factor from the Syrian settlement are not entirely clear.

With a high degree of confidence, we can assume that Israel will calmly accept the escalation of military operations in the north and northeast of Syria. Critical to him is the southwest, where the Syrian territory is adjacent directly to the Israeli border. Now this area is controlled by a whole conglomerate of formations, including those who swore at the time to ISIS (banned in Russia). It is unlikely that this is a very good neighborhood for Israel, but it is obvious that at the moment they are not a great military threat to Tel Aviv. And the possible ISIS castling on the pro-Iranian Hezbollah near Quneitra could cause the Israelis to have an overwhelming desire to bomb something again.

Another important territorial player is Turkey. And we must admit that Ankara’s positions are very strong: Russia is not interested in the deterioration of relations with the Turks, and the United States, despite all the difficulties of recent years, is still more dissatisfied with Erdogan than Turkey itself, which absolutely suits them as the most important geopolitical partner in region. That is why the Americans are also unlikely to go to the final rupture of relations with Ankara, and the scenario in which Turkish and American units enter into direct military conflict seems almost unbelievable.

Understanding all this, Turkey behaves quite self-confidently, bargaining for concessions from the pro-Syrian coalition and frankly going against American interests in its permanent conflict with the Kurds. The result of this policy of Erdogan was the creation of a conditionally pro-Turkish de-escalation zone in the Idlib region and direct military control of Turkey over a significant part of northern Syria.

Probably, in this conflict, Turkey is the most difficult thing to unequivocally identify as an ally or enemy. And nevertheless, one should not expect more of a frank stab in the back from it, if the geopolitical positions of the parties suddenly do not change drastically. Ankara is our ally if the Syrian army attacks the Kurdish positions, our opponent is in Idlib, and the arithmetical average is the “partner” with whom we will have to agree on all issues and not always in addition to our own local interests.

It is clear that there are other players interested in a particular vector of development of the Syrian events. This, for example, the Saudis, also fearing the likely strengthening of Iranian positions in Syria. They even say that the leadership of the largest Arab monarchy is ready to stop financing the militants and invest in restoring the Syrian economy in exchange for the withdrawal of Iranian military formations from Syria. But this is still a very dubious deal: Damascus is unlikely to trade thousands of Iranian fighters for the sweet promises of the Saudis, whose price is no higher than the price of the paper on which they are written. Who doubts, remember at least how Riyadh has led Russia by the way for several years, promising us big arms contracts for refusing to supply Iran with C-300 systems and other modern weapons.

And most importantly: in any development of events on the Syrian fronts, we can not expect there Saudi divisions. On this and calm down.

So, how can events develop on the Syrian fronts, taking into account all these factors?

Syria at the finish line. A light in the end of a tunnel

After the final cleansing of the suburbs of Damascus, the actions of the Syrian army will be aimed at suppressing resistance in two "boilers": the rastan and Kalamun. Less significant than Eastern Guta, they still affect the operational situation in the north-western direction. According to the data that is available at the moment, negotiations are being held with the militants, the aim of which is to peacefully release their positions and travel to the Idlib de-escalation zone, controlled (conditionally, however) by Turkey.

The likelihood that this problem will be solved in the very near future by peaceful or military means is very high. Then it will be possible to talk about the readiness of Damascus, with the support of the allies, to solve more complex tasks.

The most likely direction of the next strike will most likely be the south-west and an attack on militant positions in the area of ​​Quneitra and Deraa. Moreover, this direction is double-edged: the positions of the Syrian troops in the Dera'a area are quite shaky, and the city can easily be cut off in the event of a serious offensive by the militants. In turn, the militants are just interested in restoring the eroded morale of their units, and the likelihood that they will take the initiative in this direction is very high.

The matter is further complicated by the fact that the militants control the border of Syria with Jordan, from where the American “humanitarian aid” flows like a broad river, the contents of which the Americans for some reason try to keep secret. According to reports, around 12 of thousands of militants have been assembled in the region, ready to attack government forces in order to create their own “autonomy” there.

On the other hand, this territory is also a “de-escalation zone”, which ties the hands of the Syrian command. Therefore, the attack of the militants may even be a convenient excuse for Damascus, but only on condition that they have time to defeat or disarm the militants in the above mentioned enclaves.

Well, the most difficult military phase may be the restoration of control over the territories controlled by the Kurds. Expect this soon is not worth it. And attempts to diplomatically solve, at least frameworkly, the issues of control of the Kurdish territories will certainly be made. But if this does not work out, a new round of conflict cannot be avoided - the Kurds have grabbed off a piece of oil that includes both the Syrian oil fields and the largest agricultural province. And without the restoration of control over these territories, the problem of post-war reconstruction of Syria will be very difficult to solve.

As for Idlib and the Turkoman territories on the border with Turkey, for the time being it does not seem like it would go towards a military solution to this issue. Almost certainly Damascus will try to negotiate with Ankara and solve the problem peacefully. But with confidence we can predict that negotiations will drag on for a long time, and the matter will come to the best control of Damascus over these provinces in a decade at best.

But in the last forecast, the author himself would be happy to be mistaken.

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  1. antivirus
    antivirus April 23 2018 06: 04
    1 "light at the end of the tunnel" is a light bulb. and the exit is very far away.
    see Macron’s words about participating in the restoration. Freeloaders are strong and protecting the commercial interests of the Russian Federation in Syria is very difficult, more difficult than defeating Assad’s enemies in the war.
    2. exit to the south (Daraa) - emphasis on the position of Jordan and its relations with Israel. build from scratch, as with Turkey in the north?
    3. Iran will help on the east coast of the Euphrates, against the Kurds? -Do everyone need to spoil relations with them?
    How to "spoil" conflict with the Kurds?
    1. Ingvar 72
      Ingvar 72 April 23 2018 06: 29
      Quote: antivirus
      1 "light at the end of the tunnel" is a light bulb. and to the exit is very far

      A train going to a meeting you do not consider?
      1. credo
        credo April 23 2018 12: 04
        Quote: Ingvar 72
        Quote: antivirus
        1 "light at the end of the tunnel" is a light bulb. and to the exit is very far

        A train going to a meeting you do not consider?

        Russian participation in Syria, unfortunately, does not look like a train - more like a shunting locomotive, honestly fulfilling its mission. For more there is simply no more strength and opportunity.
        The bright future of Syria is still really in a fog, including because even in Syria itself, judging by the meager reports, there is no unanimity between the fairly large religious groups that make up the country's population. The West, including the United States, as well as Israel, Turkey and the Arab countries, must be recognized very skillfully use this, sowing hostility, supporting and equipping Assad’s opponents with everything necessary, including weapons, medicines, food and any other help. So the current Syrian authorities are still very far from victory and it’s not a fact that when it is accomplished, the country will remain within the borders that were before the start of the real war.
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  2. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat April 23 2018 06: 24
    Israel, in fact, is the main figure in this entire conflict in Syria. It was the Israeli secret services who prepared and carried out the type of "rebellion against the" tyrant "Assad", and then dragged the Americans there to "help" the rebels. Israel is consistently fulfilling its strategic goal of breaking up the entire Middle East into small, warring enclaves, among which Israel will be the most powerful state, and will also gain new territories, including the official “securing” of the Golan for it. Israel consistently destroys all the large states of the Middle East, in order to create, in addition to chaos, an additional “armed force” from poor Mujahideen, from defeated countries, which, for the sake of banal survival, can be set against someone who needs, for example, Iran. Iran was Israel's next target after Syria. The events in Ukraine are only a distraction for Russia so that it does not climb into Syria, but Russia "climbs". The so-called "sanctions" at one time were purely caricatured, not affecting the large Russian business, which directly or subsequently, belongs to the Jews. in the hope that Russia will “change its mind”. Now, we see that the Jews already agree to sacrifice a part of their economic interests in Russia and around the world. It is necessary to look at what economic leverage will be used for this. But they are preparing the main blow to the Russian economy, and this blow will already be very serious. Actually, they have already hit, forcing the Americans to pursue any companies around the world that will interact with the Russians. Although we are talking about companies from the "sanctions list", but everyone understands that the idea is that no one will especially check the list, everyone will just start to avoid any business contracts with the Russians. What is already happening. But that is not all. Something else is being prepared. The main trouble is ahead ..
    1. antivirus
      antivirus April 23 2018 06: 54

      in the fall of 16 g wrote - they will clamp us down

      The dough is not enough for the next stage of development.
      only Asia takes markets from the USA and Europe, and will be compensated from the Russian Federation.
      an integrated, integrated picture - not in favor of the West (and Israel in the PM) - will continue to fight for control.

      and Asia is growing faster anyway.
      1. aybolyt678
        aybolyt678 April 23 2018 21: 12
        Quote: antivirus
        and Asia is growing faster anyway.

        Asian growth due to the availability of oil and the introduction of technology. What will happen when the oil starts to run out ??
    2. Miflecet
      Miflecet April 23 2018 10: 39
      According to foreign media:
      The previous telephone conversation between Trump and Netanyahu took place on April 4. The White House press service notified that the situation in the Middle East was discussed during the conversation, and the American president once again emphasized the readiness of the United States to ensure the security of Israel. The conversation noted the desire of Israel and the United States to resist the expansion of Iran in the region.

      In March, Netanyahu and Trump met in Washington.
  3. aszzz888
    aszzz888 April 23 2018 06: 56
    It is noteworthy, by the way, that This is not the first time Donald Trump has spoken about the imminent withdrawal of Americans from Syria.

    This clown has seven Fridays a week ... But the new Napoleosha-Macrocha knocks out the mericatos and Co., to remain in Syria even after the defeat (whose merit is this ?!) of the bandits. The campaign went into a rage, sickly! laughing
    1. Schima68
      Schima68 April 23 2018 10: 32
      It looks like he’s hooked a young woman, and he’s bastard!
      1. Baloo
        Baloo April 23 2018 13: 38
        Quote: Schima68
        It looks like he’s hooked a young woman, and he’s bastard!

        It remains to take another decisive male step: to get rid of the yoke of a grandmother-teacher and marry a young beautiful informal woman. wink
    2. Stirbjorn
      Stirbjorn April 23 2018 15: 06
      Putin has twice officially begun withdrawing troops from Syria. fellow Why is Trump worse ?!

      Russia has begun withdrawing troops from Syria, but will continue to fight terrorists. 15.03.2016/XNUMX/XNUMX

      Putin ordered the withdrawal of troops from Syria. December 11, 2017
  4. Miflecet
    Miflecet April 23 2018 10: 59
    Quote: Mifletset
    According to foreign media:
    The previous telephone conversation between Trump and Netanyahu took place on April 4. The White House press service notified that the situation in the Middle East was discussed during the conversation, and the American president once again emphasized the readiness of the United States to ensure the security of Israel. The conversation noted the desire of Israel and the United States to resist the expansion of Iran in the region.

    In March, Netanyahu and Trump met in Washington.

    Based on materials from the Israeli press:
    But the Haaretz newspaper drew attention to one speech at this conference: it refers to the answers of the chief rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, to questions from the participants of the event.

    A publication cited on a Monday morning press review on the state-run Can Bet radio station mentions Lazar’s words that Russian President Vladimir Putin loves matzo, bites tea and considers this traditional Jewish cake made from Passover to be useful. past fermentation.

    Note that Putin and Lazar have a special relationship. In February 2014, the chief rabbi of Russia, a representative of ChABAD, came to Shabbat for the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, violating the "sanctuary of the Sabbath." In March 2014, Lazar criticized the statements of the leaders of the Ukrainian Jewish community, which condemned Russia's actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. In May of that year, Putin personally presented Lazar with the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, IV class (as many Israeli media noted, this order has the shape of a cross).
    Findings. No matter what the differences between the USA and the Russian Federation on the same issue, the two leaders of the great powers have a complete understanding: Israel will not be offended! There is no one to offend anyone. We ourselves can offend anyone you want. But generously, we don’t touch. And given that Turkey and almost all Arab countries, as well as the Kurds, are not enthusiastic about Iran’s expansion into the BV, then ".... while shaking feathers on our hats, we’ll whisper fate more than once to our merci side!" As one of the options, after Iran has completely left Syria, the formation of a security zone is seen in the form of new enclave states loyal to our country along the Israeli-Syrian border. Assad’s regime today controls only 45 percent of the territory. It is doubtful that Turkey, the Kurds, the opposition will return “taken to the sword”. And Syria itself does not pose any threat in the foreseeable and boundless future for Israel. On VO, here is a map of the former Syria published, indicating who and what was captured there. Only one country is not designated among the invaders: Israel. Although they could have been quiet, no problem. But the Jews are very decent, intelligent, successful, talented, intelligent people: "We don’t need an inch from someone else’s land, but we won’t give up our shred!"
    1. Alber
      Alber April 23 2018 16: 50
      Quote: Mifletset
      loves matzah, bites tea with it and finds this traditional Jewish cake made for Passover useful.

      And please tell me, please, is this matzo you mentioned, is it still kosher?
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. megavolt823
        megavolt823 April 26 2018 02: 49
        oh sho you sho you! she is circumcised by all the rules! wassat
        1. megavolt823
          megavolt823 April 26 2018 02: 56
          Miflecet! Do you want to show the influence of the Jews today? so we know it! you shit to those who saved you! many are already revising history. you most importantly remind us more often. otherwise many do not believe.
  5. akudr48
    akudr48 April 23 2018 12: 31
    The question does not leave me, why, for what purpose, and in whose interests Russia is fighting in Syria?

    While ignoring Syria in 2011 - 2012, recalling the already paid S-300 systems, so needed then,
    With the Donbass abandoned by Russia,
    If their own citizens fighting in Syria are not recognized,
    With already declared at least 3 times our victory in Syria,
    In case of powerless threats, give a military response, if anyone dares to strike at Syria, and powerless appeals to ONN,
    With constant glance at Israel, America, Europe, if anything, we will immediately agree
    With a growing technological gap and lagging behind global development,
    With poverty and the monstrous social inequality of life in Russia, ...

    For the sake of the interests of any Sechin, Müller, and other deripasses, Russia sheds blood there and lavishes the last Tugriks,

    Who will say why?
    1. credo
      credo April 23 2018 18: 14
      And you have not tried from the beginning to learn how to write in Russian. Maybe then you will begin to understand better and you will find answers to questions that torment you.
    2. aybolyt678
      aybolyt678 April 23 2018 21: 19
      Quote: akudr48
      For the sake of the interests of which Sechin, Mullers, and other airborne supplies, Russia sheds blood there

      Namely those whom you have listed. In Syria, easily accessible expensive oil under the mantra of terrorism will be possible in the future from that cake and bite off. It’s very difficult and expensive to get offshore
    3. andrson
      andrson April 30 2018 12: 53
      Write-off of money .. Yes, and we went along the path of the West (they also decided to fight). Russia is exhausting the war, and our "partners" are getting richer. request
  6. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 April 23 2018 12: 39
    a provocation of what magnitude the American special services should organize, so that the American response that follows it is truly fatal for the Syrian army.
    Why is it so difficult? Just imagine. They have a good scenario of such provocations. In addition, it will be possible to solve many problems at once. How is Trump not going to Dallas? And then I suppose the "Russian sniper" and the seven "Russian hackers" were already prepared for him ...
  7. Bad_santa
    Bad_santa April 23 2018 18: 41
    It would be most loyal now to clear out the entire territory south of Damascus. Russia will meet with the leadership of Israel and will act as a guarantor of security for the Jewish state. Then, when the stripping of the southern borders takes place, transfer all military units to other directions (including Iranian ones), and leave the police and air defense forces in the liberated areas. In this situation, you don’t even have to “retreat” to the Jews and lose your image. After stripping the south, the Iranian units will also be confronted with the fact: you are either at war with the terrorists or are leading your game against Israel. Tel Aviv will also lose all legitimate and with slight reservations reasons to strike at Syria. As a result, all parties do not lose anything, but receive only benefit from this alignment. It would be interesting to know the opinion of our Israeli comrades on this site
    1. Bad_santa
      Bad_santa April 23 2018 18: 47
      In general, I would like to know the opinion of comrades from Israel. Will they strike at Syria if there are no Iranian units, military units of Syria, terrorists and the opposition on their border, but the Russian military police, the Syrian police, the air defense of Syria and possibly Russia?
    2. aybolyt678
      aybolyt678 April 23 2018 21: 22
      Quote: Bad_Santa
      and act as a guarantor of security for the Jewish state.

      financial issue of such guarantees is barred laughing