What Has Moscow Achieved…and Did It Fail After Imposing Two Ceasefires? October 2, 2016 Analysis Translated by Sufyan Jan 21:19:31 02/10/2016 Written by Elijah J.Magnier “Only the dead have seen the end of war” A year prior to Russia’s intervention, the main sticking point was the opposition’s request that Assad relinquishes power as a pre-condition to any negotiated settlement. The US and it’s allies in the region regurgitated the same line “Assad must go, through military or diplomatic means”. Today, however, Assad’s future is no longer put into question by the US, Turkey, and other regional powers, who now accept that the Syrian people will decide the fate of their next president, regardless of who runs in the elections, it is a “Syrian internal issue”. A year ago Israel would bomb SAA positions, while Damascus stood helpless, they couldn’t retaliate against those who were backing the opposition and the jihadists – according to Tel Aviv’s own admission. Now, however, the situation has changed, the SAA retaliated using their S-200 against Israeli air craft that violate Syria’s air space – with Moscow’s blessing – thus communicating to Israel’s high command that “play time is over. The decision to wage war or hold a cease-fire is in Russia’s hand, and Russia is determined to take matters into their own hand. Crossing the red lines will force the Kremlin to update and modernize the SAA’s air defense system so that it can shoot down air crafts that are over Tel Aviv before even reaching the Israeli/Syrian border”. Moscow said nothing to Israel, except that they made it clear to the Israeli security team that are assigned to coordinate with Moscow, that there are new rules of engagement, and that Russia prefers the situation to remain calm and cool. And so it is best for Israel to stop provoking Damascus as long as the border line is secure, and as long as Moscow is there on the ground, so that things don’t get out of control. A year ago the opposition and the jihadists were preparing to take full control of Aleppo. The towns of Kafriya and Al-Fu’ah as well as Nubl and Al-Zahraa were besieged and under constant bombardment. Damascus and their allies were able to completely besiege Al-Zabadani on the Syrian/Lebanese border, during which the Russian air raids were concentrated on the North West to divert attention, and support away from that area. Russia established its control over key highways going into Aleppo, and successfully besieged Eastern Aleppo, then they started taking bites out of the frontal lines in Aleppo, they bombed the defensive lines, and the supply routes along with their back ups, they also bombed HQ’s, communication centers, and oil targets deep in Syria’s territory. They were successful in breaking the siege of Nubl and Al-Zahraa. Damascus imposed the Al-Zabadani model, and were able to injure the US in Aleppo, the city has thus become a geopolitical leverage that Moscow uses against Washington, Russia is now capable of provoking the US whenever that is needed. A year ago, ISIS was controlling Palmyra and destroying its heritage, and was a direct threat to the SAA, especially on the Eastern front. Russia came to Damascus’s aid, and with her aerial power and her allies ground forces they were able to recapture the city, and already they have started renovating the historical sites, Russia also built a military base there so that it can protect the Eastern front, and now it has become an obstacle to the American plan “B”, the US was laying the ground work along with its Middle Eastern partners to send in ground forces from Jordan into the Eastern Desert under the pretext of striking a blow to ISIS, reaching up to Al-Raqqa in the East of Syria. A year ago, the Western press, especially the Americans, were saying that Russia was likely to withdraw, given how costly it would be for them to sustain their operations in Syria, and that the defense budget would not be enough to cover the expenses in Syria. The Kremlin responded by saying that they used the same amount to conduct military maneuvers, only this year they would utilize their training and gain real battle experience. We can see now, that not only are they maintaining the same level, rather the intensity of their operations have increased, sending in more modern air crafts, including fighters, thus the Kremlin blew away speculation masquerading as analysis. It is expected that Russia will remain in Syria, the Russians did not come to support and preserve a regime, rather they came in to force their way into the Middle East equation, as a consequence they will not retreat after 1 year. Russia is here to stay, the war will rage, despite the ceasefires, during Lebanon’s civil war there were more than 1000 ceasefires without either regional or international being able of stopping the war that lasted for 15 years. In Syria there has only been two cease fires, the war has been raging for almost 6 years. It is too early to judge who will be successful in stopping the war in Syria. Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.