Skip to comments.WILL WAR IN SYRIA END?
Posted on 07/24/2018 10:47:11 AM PDT by gandalftb
The Syrian Democratic Councilthe political wing of a largely Kurdish, U.S.-backed military alliance of Arabs and other sects known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)launched a three-day conference Monday in Tabqa.
The gathering revolved around the country's (Syria) political future and reportedly included both Kurdish officials and members of Syria's political opposition not participating in the seven-year civil war.
"This platform will represent all areas in the autonomous administration and all areas held by the SDF," he added.
The rest of the country (Syria) has been reclaimed by al-Assad's forces backed by Russia and Iran.
The U.S. shifted its priorities away from regime change and toward battling ISIS in Syria and neighboring Iraq.
The SDF has not explicitly called for Assad to step down. A number of the Pentagon-backed alliance's Kurdish fighters have actually fought alongside Assad's fighters against rebels that once received CIA assistance.
Turkey is a fierce opponent of Kurdish autonomy, but Syrian government officials have expressed some flexibility in allowing a limited degree of self-rule across Kurd-controlled areas.
In May, Assad told Russia's state-run RT channel that he was willing to talk to the SDF, saying the government had "started now opening doors for negotiations" to reunify the country.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.com ...
The Kurds likely will have an autonomous territory, Rojava, which is about 1/4 of Syria east of the Euphrates River. They may give control of the Tabqa Dam and the oil fields east of Deir Ezzor. The dam is too complicated to manage and the oil fields need military protection that we cannot continue to provide and the Kurds won't be able to protect:
Syria is about to begin an offensive in NW Syria to reclaim the territories from rebels there and kick out Turkey. Syria is mopping up the rebel-held areas around the Golan Heights now.
The Iranians in Syria are the biggest problem. Israel won't stop until they are gone. Israel is about to start bombing the Iranian land bridge in Iraq. That's right, Israel will attack Iraq.
Iraq is rapidly losing control of its territory. The Province of Basra is seeking autonomy. They have not received the $45 billion in oil revenues they were promised:
Iranians and their Iraqi militias occupy several former US bases in Iraq. ISIS continues to control western areas. The Kurds continue to push for full military autonomy and they'll get it.
It will probably take another year to firm up the Kurd defenses, kick out Iran and Turkey, fully exterminate ISIS and allow Assad to consolidate.
Obama started it.
He wanted the Muslm Brotherhood to take over the entire middle east.
But he was as incompetent at that as he was with everything else he touched. Thankfully.
The MB was too soft and fuzzy for some of the diaper-heads, so they spun off into ISIS.
Everything you stated is plausible.
But I can easily picture ISIS returning to Syria in the next year or so. Heck, they did the same thing in Iraq. Every time the Iraqis thought they had ISIL beaten, they’d come back around again.
Things will improve but many parts of Syria (including parts of Damascus and its suburbs) will never be totally safe as was the case before the war. There will be some kind of low intensity conflict existing there for quite some time. No amount of Russian money and weapons can totally suppress it.
“I can easily picture ISIS returning to Syria in the next year or so.”
Many tribes in Saudi Arabia extend across the borders into neighboring countries. The Wahabbi-indoctrinated Sunni tribes around Euphrates River Valley in Syria and Iraq formed the heartland of ISIS, and its core cadre. Many (most) of those same tribal leaders still hold their positions.
One significant new aspect of the likely next peace settlement, could be Kurdish security forces (SDF) operating in traditionally Sunni areas along the Euphrates (Deir ez Zour Province, Raqqa/Tabqa). The Kurds have a world-class reputation for effective internal security against terrorism, and human intelligence gathering. Having them run the area could be the best long term solution toward managing those populations, to prevent re-emergence of ISIS-like groups there.
“There will be some kind of low intensity conflict existing there for quite some time.”
Although I (we) agree with gandalftb that the Syrian conflict is approaching a new more stable phase, that could be called “end of the war”, this is still the Middle East, and the many players will continue to scheme against, and back stab each other.
I think it likely that external patrons of many of the Sunni jihadi groups (US under Obama, Saudis, Gulf Arabs, Jordan) will agree to stand down the armed struggle and reconcile with the Syrian Government, even if Assad remains. Erdogan in Turkey however, seems to go his own radical way, and remains a wild card.
The fate of the Iranians is the biggest wild card in any upcoming stabilization. It will be very hard to get them effectively out of Syria, without regime change in Iran itself. They are very sophisticated with covert efforts.
A big change is brewing in Iraq now, after Muqtada Sadr’s list came out on top in the recent elections. His boys (Shi’ites yes, but Iraqi Nationalists, and with independent financial interests) are rooting out their competing Iranian-backed groups from a whole bunch of Government offices and lucrative rackets throughout the Shi’ite South of the country. Mobs are in the streets and blood is being spilt. It is a significant loss of Iranian influence, but they (Iranians) seem to be maintaining their footholds in Diyala Province (between Baghdad and the Iranian border), and the PUK Kurdish areas around Sulaymaniyah for now.
“The fate of the Iranians is the biggest wild card in any upcoming stabilization. It will be very hard to get them effectively out of Syria, without regime change in Iran itself. They are very sophisticated with covert efforts.”
Agreed. Assad more or less sold his soul to the devil in exchange for Iranian support. IIRC, they were helping out before the Russians got involved. He can forget regaining that soul anytime soon.
The Foundation For The Defense of Democracies has detailed Iran’s involvement (thru its militias) in both Iraq and Syria. if you haven’t seen the article, it’s a good one:
“IIRC, they (Iran) were helping out before the Russians got involved.”
That is correct. General Soleimani had to go to Moscow to ask for Russian air support, because they were taking so many casualties (even General Officers, who were well known back home). Iran had to throw their regular Army units into Syria, and to significantly restructure their Revolutionary Guards (IRGC, Pasdaran) to form combat units for conventional warfighting (albeit mostly specialty functions like artillery and rocket forces).
Since then, the Iranians have withdrawn their regular military units, and handed the bulk of the land battle over to their surrogate militias from Lebanon and Iraq, and have raised new mercenary units of Afghans and Pakistani Shi’ites, led by Iranian officers. They are now trying to recruit Syrian Sunni Arabs - including from among the tribes around Deir ez Zour and the oil fields, who have been staunch ISIS supporters in the past (but now need new jobs). Iran has been fielding about 50,000 fighters from outside of Syria, and operates some number of Syria’s own regular military units as well. The Syrian Arab Army is a mere rump of its former self, able to maintain and operate only a handful of units at combat effective strength levels on their own.
The scale of Iran’s commitment is much greater than Russia’s. Pretty much, the Iranians run the war, with the Russians playing a supporting role.
The withdrawal from the Iran deal was accompanied (within hours) by financial sanctions that disrupted IRGC’s ability to pay its mercenaries, and by a relatively massive Israeli air campaign on those forces. Some of those units have seen 30-50% attrition over the last two months, largely due to desertion.
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