The radio silence being maintained by the various media outlets on what is actually going on in Syria is slowly but surely being broken. It’s hard out there for a gatekeeper. From The National:
Is Syrian president Bashar Al Assad finally winning? One can feel a deep sense of grief running through opposition factions whether inside or outside Syria over how events have unfolded over the past two weeks.
Pro-regime forces have made a series of major gains in northern, central and southern Syria over the past week.
More strikingly, they broke a three-year siege imposed by the rebels around the Shia towns of Nubbol and Zahraa, 20 kilometres from Aleppo city, which represents a major setback for the rebels especially as it could disrupt a game of encirclement and counter-encirclement that sustained the rebels’ control of much of Aleppo since 2012.
Five months after the regime’s forces seemed incapable of halting the string of victories achieved by the rebels in northern Syria, which led to the Russian military intervention to prop up their ally, the regime appears to be on the offensive. The offensive is seen n northern Latakia, the western Ghouta near Damascus, Deraa and in the rural areas of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo. The regime appears to have made an impressive comeback.
and from Nancy Youssef in The Daily Beast:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could make his biggest gains in the country’s long civil war—and potentially tip its outcome in his favor in a matter of weeks—by wresting control of the city of Aleppo from opposition forces, two U.S. military officials told The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity.
If government forces are able to successfully encircle the city and hold it, and control the province around it, “the war is essentially over,” said one of the senior defense officials.
Under assault from hundreds of Russian airstrikes over the past week, Aleppo increasingly is falling out of rebel hands. As many as 40,000 Syrians fled the city toward Turkey’s border over the past two days, walking up to 60 miles to get to safety. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that 15,000 people had already arrived at Turkey’s border from Aleppo.
The Russian onslaught on Syria’s keystone city has left many wondering just how long rebels can hold on. During Syria’s five-year civil war, which has killed at 250,000, it’s been surmised that whoever controls Aleppo will prevail.
Ending the civil war in Syria is probably the most important step towards stemming the flow of actual refugees from the country. The reality always has been that the most that could ever be expected from the rebels, moderate or otherwise, is ongoing civil war.
I cannot for the life of me figure out why our major media outlets have maintained the position they have on Syria for so long. Is it to support the Obama Administration? Idealism and romanticism? Because they hate the Russians?
What’s missing from the accounts (but not from the website of the Russian Defense Ministry) is that the Syrian government, supported by Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, et al., farther east is using the same tactics against DAESH. They’re advancing, encircling, and retaking territory.
The outcome of the Syrian civil war won’t be determined in Switzerland which if all you read was the New York Times, Washington Post, and other major U. S. news outlets, you would assume to be the case. It will be in the field.