The grim message from Washington to the anti-Assad fighters of southern Syria – that they could expect no help from the West in their further struggle against Assad’s government forces or the Russians, which one day will figure in the history books.
It’s a turning point in the Syria war and a further victory for the Assad’s troops in its ambition to retake all of rebel Syria.
Already Russian missiles and Syrian bombs are embracing the countryside south and east of Daraa and outside Quneitra and Sweida after the opposition fighters refused a negotiated peace last week. Families of the opposition are again fleeing the towns.
Neither the Hezbollah nor the comparatively fewer Iranian Revolutionary Guards appear to be involved in the battle for southern Syria. The Americans and the Russians – and thus the Syrian government – have agreed that this should be a Russo-Syrian offensive to clean up the mess created by the Western politicians and its military.
The Israelis have attacked Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria – but never the cult-Islamist ISIS executioners nor Nusra/al-Qaeda. US policy, despairing of ever “collapsing” Assad, now appears to have given up on the armed opposition to the Damascus.
Advising Israel that a return to the status quo on Golan which existed before the Syrian war – where Israeli and Syrian forces were separated by a UN buffer zone – is preferable to risking a shootout with Iran or, indeed, with the Syrian army.
Syria fears that the Israeli regime will now create their own “buffer zone” below Golan, similar in style, weaponry and ruthlessness to Israel’s former occupation zone in southern Lebanon.
Across the map of Syria, however, it is the West’s power which now appears to be in retreat. If the USA is prepared to turn its back on its hostile allies in southern- and northern Syria, then Russia and Damascus seem to be the winners.
But for now the US military and its mercenary allies occupy 25% of Syria, along with 80% of their oil fields, formerly invaded and annexed by ISIS.
The instruction from the USA to its allies outside Daraa – “surrender” might sum it up best – may be presented as a small victory:
Washington can claim to have kept Iran away from Israel. But it will also mean that USA and NATO have given up on the overthrow of the Assad family.
Independent / ABC Flash Point Military News 2018.