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Analysis: Russia’s triumph in Aleppo

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Syrian army in the Aleppo countryside.

Mike Whitney writes in Global Research:

“This is the beginning of the end of jihadi presence in Aleppo. After 4 years of war and terror, people can finally see the end in sight.”

— Edward Dark, Twitter, Moon of Alabama

A last ditch effort to stop a Russian-led military offensive in northern Syria ended in failure on Wednesday when the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) and heavy Russian air cover broke a 40-month siege on the villages of Nubl and al-Zahra in northwestern Aleppo province. The Obama administration had hoped that it could forestall the onslaught by cobbling together an eleventh-hour ceasefire agreement at the Geneva peace talks.  But when the news that Syrian armored units had crashed through al Nusra’s defenses and forced the jihadists to retreat, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura suspended the negotiations tacitly acknowledging that the mission had failed.

“I have indicated from the first day that I won’t talk for the sake of talking,” the envoy told reporters, saying he needed immediate help from international backers led by the United States and Russia, which are supporting opposite sides of a war that has also drawn in regional powers.” (Reuters)  De Mistura then announced a “temporary pause” in the stillborn negotiations which had only formally begun just hours earlier. Developments on the battlefield had convinced the Italian-Swedish diplomat that it was pointless to continue while government forces were effecting a solution through military means.

After months of grinding away at enemy positions across the country,  the Russian strategy has begun to bear fruit. Loyalist ground forces have made great strides on the battlefield rolling back the war-weary insurgents on virtually all fronts. A broad swathe of the Turkish border is now under SAA control while the ubiquitous Russian bombers continue to inflict heavy losses on demoralized anti-regime militants. Wednesday’s lightening attack on the strategic towns of  Nubl and Zahraa was just the icing on the cake.  The bold maneuver severed critical supply-lines to Turkey while  tightening the military noose around the country’s largest city leaving hundreds of terrorists stranded in a battered cauldron with no way out.

For the last two weeks, the Obama team has been following developments on the ground with growing concern. This is why Secretary of State John Kerry hurriedly assembled a diplomatic mission to convene emergency peace talks in Geneva despite the fact that the various participants had not even agreed to attend. A sense of urgency bordering on panic was palpable from the onset. The goal was never to achieve a negotiated settlement or an honorable peace, but (as Foreign Policy magazine noted) to implement “a broad ‘freeze’ over the whole province of Aleppo, which would then be replicated in other regions later.” This was the real objective, to stop the bleeding any way possible and prevent the inevitable encirclement of Aleppo.

The recapturing of Nubl and Zahraa leaves the jihadists with just one route for transporting weapons, food and fuel to their urban stronghold. When loyalist forces break the blockade at Bab al Hawa to the northeast, the loop will be closed, the perimeter will tighten, the cauldron will be split into smaller enclaves within the city, and the terrorists will either surrender or face certain annihilation. Wednesday’s triumph by the Russian-led coalition is a sign that that day may be approaching sooner than anyone had anticipated. […]

14 Comments

  1. David Murphy says

    Thank God at least one great power in the world involved in the Middle East seems to understand that a stable govt, for all it’s imperfections, might be just better than a power vacuum and unadulterated chaos. Good luck Russia. Speed on to the re-establishing of normal government in Syria! And God Help Us if that devil woman Clinton gets elected in the USA. there will be no peace in the world!




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  2. Moscow’s accommodation of Israel’s legitimate interests in Syria presents a study in contrast with its resolve to make a horrible example of Turkey for standing in the way of Pax Russiana in Syria. How does one explain Russia’s differentiation?

    To begin with, Israel. In a departure statement in Moscow, Matviyenko described Russian-Israeli relations as on a steadily ascending curve. She said, “The fact is that relations between Russia and Israel are not burdened by any insurmountable problems, even more so conflicts … these relations develop in the line of ascent, no doubt.”

    Interestingly, on the same day, in a rare briefing in Tel Aviv for the Knesset’s foreign affairs and defence committee, Israel’s ambassador to Moscow Zvi Heifetz took note that his country’s relations with Russia “are flourishing in an unprecedented manner.”

    full: http://atimes.com/2016/02/russia-is-content-with-israel-but-wrathful-toward-turkey/




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    • Maybe it is all connected with the zionist russian mafia oligarchs who have invested so heavily in land stolen from Palestinians, particularly around the area of Jerusalem?
      One set of corrupt thieves accommodating another set of corrupt thieves, would you not say?




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  3. Vincent says

    Why are you using this font size of characters? It is just Illegible…




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  4. The “Super Power” Russia? They have a GDP of 2 trillion {Mexico 2.1 trillion.} The average Russian male lives ten years less than any other industrialized country. The USA has a defense budget of 580 billion. Russia less than 90 billion. At the low replenishment rate Russia is seeing currently their population will decline from its current 143 million to 105 million by 2050. What world do you live in? {Oh yes. Their economy……….based 50%on energy………contracted 3.7% last year.}




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    • vittorio says

      Gary, I sympathise with your NATO delusions but rather than digging out statistics on russia don’t you cosider some of the same for your exceptional idol? and why not looking at at far closer future of insolvency for the dollar, and the mayhem it will cause? all the world is to benefit from some peace which the exceptionals so stubbornly fight (those 580 billion …. shame!).
      so pray for russia success.
      ps besides as you certainly know much of those 580 billion is corruption and “pork”, so not only wrong but disgraceful.




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    • What planet are you on ? In GDP as measured by PPP Russia’s economy was bigger than Germany in 2014 & 2015 & population rising ! So you lie or you are not too bright or what seems most likely an ISIS supporting troll who is butt-hurt that Russia is winning?

      See http://www.tradingeconomics.com/russia/balance-of-trade & get educated ! Russian economy still runs on a surplus despite Western sanctions …… US is running at a loss & receivers knocking on the door!




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  5. I agree 100 per cent with the comments above of bevin and Isaac. It really is good to see the disgusting efforts of Erdogan to re-establish the former Ottoman Empire coming to grief, as well as the zionists’ attempts at implementing the Yinon Plan also coming to grief. Long may it continue.




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  6. bevin says

    If the Syrian government does prevail it will signal the end of an era in international relations. For the past thirty years and more the “supreme war crime,’ as defined at Nurnburg, has become routine. Not only the United States but its satellites have felt themselves free to despatch armies wherever they choose. In Afghanistan the government was overthrown by guerrillas working for Saudi Arabia, Iran was attacked, without provocation, by Iraq, again sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the USA. The pattern was well established, the attack on Syria, long planned and ruthlessly executed was intended to end as that on Libya had.
    It was clear, after the Libyan aggression, that Russia, China and the rest of the world would have to choose between accepting the right of the USA to impose dictators wherever it found it convenient to do so or to call a halt to these increasingly frequent and scandalously cynical adventures.
    It is to be hoped that, after having restrained themselves to a fault, as Yugoslavia, Somalia, Sudan. Libya, Iraq and other countries were handed over to US puppets , Russia and China faced the fact that if they allowed the process to go on they would be next, as the USA attempts to establish its hegemony through ‘globalisation.’
    Nothing could be less relevant than the personalities or domestic policies of the rulers of countries resisting this sinister plan of world domination. To support Russia’s Syrian operations involves no endorsement of the government in Moscow- which is answerable only to the people of Russia- it is simply a re-affirmation of the rights of nations to choose their own governments and of the criminality of foreign interventions employing mercenaries to terrorise people into submission.
    As to Syria, its population having been, by war, reduced from 23 to 18 million, there is a bill of reparations which must be collected-those responsible, most notably Saudi Arabia, the Qatar statelet and Turkey not only owe the people of Syria the cost of war damage, they owe the people of Europe for the cost of dealing with the refugees pouring in. It will be a consolation to these three countries that much of the blame must also be shouldered by NATO, particularly its head in Washington.




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  7. Good news. I knew that the Super Power Russia wouldn’t let the Syrians down. It’s just a matter of time these rats will be eliminated for the good of the whole world. Russia has stopped the Zionist dream of Greater Israel. There has been too much blood, to much insolence to many crimes and millions killed in the quest for the Zionist dream.




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