There are few places on earth that are as chaotic as what is happening in Syria these days. It all started when several armed groups banded together to try to oust the longtime ruling family, the Assad’s, in 2011. The revolution movement quickly picked up steam and soon became a full-fledged civil war that has left hundreds of thousands dead. The Assad regime is even suspected of using chemical weapons on the opposition several times.
The USA chose to remain on the sidelines in Syria, but that all changed when ISIS entered into the picture as they tried to carve out their so called “caliphate” across Northern Syria and Northern Iraq. This brought US airpower and advisors into the conflict and, since then, Russia has also sent in forces to bolster the once nearly-defeated Assad regime. Even the groups united against the Assad regime have fought each other too at times. The country has been a mess to say the least and the only thing that is certain there is that people continue to die every day.
The Pseudo Russian Stance
When the Russians showed up in Syria en masse and with great firepower in September of 2015, they did so under the pretense that they were there to help defeat ISIS too. Observers noted that this has hardly seemed to be the case as the Russians have directed less than 20% of their airstrikes at ISIS-related targets since that time. This only ratcheted up the already-high tensions between Russia and the West another notch as it became clear the Russians were truly there to bolster and support the regime of Syrian President Assad.
Change is in the Air
The Russians again stunned the world a few months ago when they proclaimed their major military operations in Syria would come to an end and they would soon be withdrawing a majority of their forces. They had clearly put all the various rebel factions back on their heels. Not surprisingly, after an initial few days of withdrawal by Russian forces, there has been no further pullout. What was different was that over the last few months the Russians forced Assad to agree to a fragile ceasefire when he was clearly gaining the advantage over the rebel factions.
At the same time, the Russian-backed Syrian forces took back the ancient and historic city of Palmyra from ISIS with a quick and resounding victory. It was the first major battle by the combined forces of Syria and the Russians against ISIS.
In early June of this year, the Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by massive US airpower, launched an all-out attack directed against the so-called ISIS capital and stronghold of Raqqa from the north. What surprised many people is that at nearly the same time the Russian-backed Syrian forces started a major push for Raqqa from the south. It looks very much like this was a coordinated attack that would crush ISIS.
Both sides are mum on whether there is any cooperation going on, but neither side would deny it either. It looks very much like the Free Syrian Army and the Assad forces will stop fighting each other for a little while and concentrate on the plague that ISIS has become in Syria. Hopefully when that is done the two sides can sit down and reach an agreement that will end all the bloodshed there.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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