The reason Putin will succeed where the US failed in its war on ISIS, is because the Russian air-strikes are going to be accompanied by a formidable mop-up operation that will overpower the jihad groups on the ground. The Russian Air Force has been pounding terrorist targets across the Idlib Governorate for the last few days as well as ISIS strongholds in the East at Raffa.
According to the government sources, over 450 militants from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and another 250 people wanted by governmental authority have turned themselves in to the Syrian Security Forces at the provincial capital of the Dara’a Governorate (Dara’a city). There are no confirmed reports about the reasons of such activity, but anybody can easily suppose why they did this. Meanwhile, the Syrian Air Force struck the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their allies from the FSA around the city of Busra Al-Sham.
In a move that officials said was likely coming weeks ago, the Pentagon today announced that it is formally ending its $500 million “train and equip” program, which was meant to create a new, pro-US rebel faction, dubbed the New Syrian Forces (NSF).
When Congress initially funded the program, there was talk of creating a force of tens of thousands of fighters that would eventually take all of Syria. They kept lowering projections and eventually 20,000 troops in the first year became a goal of 500 troops in two years. They didn’t even make that goal, however, and they finally decided to just give up instead of lowering the figure yet again and instead supply arms a strategy which have also failed as allegedly they eventually fall into the hands of ISIS..
Defense Secretary Ash Carter appeared reluctant to totally admit failure, however, saying the US is still committed to training Syrian rebels. They’re just not saying how or making any specific plans right now.
Syria is not going to be a quagmire as the media has predicted citing Russia’s role in Afghanistan.
South Front reports: “Lieutenant General Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Main Operation Directorate of the General Staff of Russia’s armed forces, said the strikes have significantly reduced the terrorists’ combat capabilities.” In other words, the Russian offensive is already producing positive results. This is no small matter. By most accounts, the conflict had deteriorated into a stalemate. Now, with Russia in the picture, that’s changed. Now the table is clearly tilted in Syria’s favor.
In an an earlier report: “The positioning of Russian aircraft in Syria gives the Kremlin the ability to shape and control the battle-space in both Syria and Iraq out of all proportion to the size of the Russian force.”
The Russian air-base at Latakia is perfectly situated for providing air cover or bombing terrorist targets across the country. The Russian airforce will also make every effort to cut off supply lines and escape routes. This is why ISIS positions along the main highway to Iraq were destroyed on Sunday. Effectively, no way out!
The Syrian army is preparing for offensive actions against Al Nusra and ISIS near the town of Al-Rastan. In the recent interview, the Commander of the 147th Syrian tank brigade said that they coordinate perfectly with the Russian forces providing them intelligence and air support.
Separately, the Russian Air Force’s destroyed a command-and-control center of Jabhat Al-Nusra at Saraqib.
Russian warplanes conducted a reconnaissance flight above the Al-Ghaab Plains of the Hama Governorate. This could be a feature of the future military activity in this sector.
ISIS has been targeted by the Russian warplanes at the city of Al-Raqqa sector at least 25 times and each time. This includes the Tabaqa Military Airport and Tabaqa National Hospital turned into the ISIS’ primary military base and headquarters in Al-Raqqa.
Recently, the VKO has targeted the terrorist group inside the Deir Ez-zour Governorate. The ISIS positions along the imperative Deir Ezzor-Raqqa International Highway and Al-Mayadeen-Deir Ez-zour Road were destroyed.
The Russian Aerospace Defence Forces has conducted more than 60 flights and bombed over 50 Islamic State targets in three days. According to the Lieutenant General Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Main Operation Directorate of the General Staff of Russia’s armed forces, the strikes have significantly reduced the terrorists’ combat capabilities.
Media reports about civilians in Syria allegedly being killed by Russian airstrikes appeared before Russian aircraft even left the ground, President Vladimir Putin said last Thursday.
As for any information in the media on civilians suffering [from Russian airstrikes], we were ready for such information attacks. I draw your attention to the fact that the first reports on civilian casualties emerged before our planes even left the ground,” Putin said at a meeting of the Russian Council for Civil Society and Human Rights.
Back home in Russia Levada Center conducted the first all-Russian survey following the Russian military intervention in the Middle East conflict with results being that 47% believe “Russia ought to support Bashar al-Assad in his fight against the IS and Syrian opposition,” 28% are in favor of non-involvement.
Most western media outlets continue to be speculative on the Russian imperative stating that it is not ISIS but other groups who are supposedly also fighting ISIS. This has been denied by the Kremlin and not supported by evidence on the ground.