Sunday, 4 October 2015
Bashar al-Assad is Syria's problem, not its solution
"The situation on the ground in Syria is ripe for a concerted air campaign that can assist the two major rebel coalitions ready to take Damascus and turn the course of the war. These two forces -- "Army of Conquest" in the north and "Southern Front" in the south -- are strategically positioned, battle hardened, and more than equipped to carry out what will be required by land. All they require is sustained air support that can neutralize the remnants of Assad's army brigades, national defense forces, and Hezbollah/Iranian battalions, as well as prevent Syrian planes (and now maybe Russian ones as well) from dispatching their dreaded and devastating barrel bombs. With such assistance these coalitions will be able to move into Damascus and take the capital city on their own.
Russia's growing military alliance with Iran and al-Assad in the name of defeating ISIS is a disconcerting development that complicates the situation in the Middle East. However, it is clear that the major Arab powers in the region, led by Saudi Arabia, cannot sit back and let the Russians and their proxies dictate the course of events. Over 300,000 Syrians have died and 4 million are now refugees. ISIS must be destroyed, but that can only occur once al-Assad is removed from power. Thus, we are likely to see in the near future a concerted Saudi coalition moving into Syria by air and providing the anti-Assad coalition forces the cover they need to break the stalemate of this war and, hopefully, bring it to an end."