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Syria: Is It Over? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English
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Opinion

Syria: Is It Over?

Russian air strikes and cruise missiles, foreign militias and Assad armed forces continue to use coercive force as towns and land stretches from eastern Aleppo to southern Raqqa are brought back under regime control.

Syrian rebels, or what is left of them, fight with great valor, no aid, and under impossible circumstances against Iranian proxies and pro-regime militias. Ever since the shutdown of Turkish and Jordanian passageways, support for the Syrian opposition has received a considerable blow.   

In short, things in Syria are at their worst yet. Internationally speaking, the impressive and decisive stance the US put up against Moscow in Syria did not last long, France’s newly elected President Emmanuel Macron portrayed the country’s worst Syria standing so far, and UN Special Envoy Staffan Di Mistura is known for viewing the Syrian people and opposition representatives with negativity.

Capitalizing on blunders of Syrian revolution allies, such as Qatar, Iranians and Russians have succeeded with rebranding the Syrian people’s cause to a fight against terrorism. Like always, Qatar’s actions were largely built on miscalculations.

Most of Syrian rebels fighting to remove the oppressive regime headed by Bashar al-Assad are by no means linked to terror groups or extremist ideology.

It was enough for extremist groups to be present on Syrian grounds and for media outlets to run spotlight publicity, so that terrorist groups become a worldwide ogre feeding off on the Syrian revolution.

Despite the overbearing difficulty faced by the opposition, pro-regime forces and Iranian multi-national proxy militias remain unable to guarantee safe-zones in areas it took control over.

At the moment, Iran considers securing strategic privilege a priority over reinstating regime control in Syria, which explains why it has focused fighting to oil-rich areas in southern Raqqa.

Tehran resorted to Iraqi and Lebanese militias to secure Syrian land passages with governorates in West Iraq to secure control over Iraq and ensure a long path from Iran’s borders in south of Iraq to Lebanon.

Under presumptions of a US-Syrian opposition initiative to move towards Damascus, and eventually force Assad to step down, Iranian proxies targeted the district bordering Jordan, Daraa.

Daraa was a major and surprising win that shook the Damascus tripartite, Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime. It is worth mentioning that Iran-aligned militias had suffered sizable losses in the southern city.

Nevertheless, recent political compromises have auctioned off those victories as the US stance rolled back in the face of Russian demands. US support ranked top for the past six years had it not been for politicians in the latest rounds of discussions failing those taking arms.  

Amid a new American retreat, a negative French stance, Gulf disputes and Turkish-Moscow rapprochement, the Syrian opposition stands before a uniquely alarming situation.

The final wager made by rebels is placed on the Syrian regime’s failure to manage the areas it seizes control.

Given its lacking capacities, the Syrian regime continues to seek help from Iran militias, Hezbollah, Iraqi militias and Russia.  Such deficiency and resorting to foreign interference will strengthen national public opposition.  

A review on Saudi-Qatari dispute in Syria will be published tomorrow…

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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