Jump to content
Thailand Visa Forum by Thai Visa | The Nation
webfact

Hezbollah declares Syria victory, Russia says much of country won back

Recommended Posts

Hezbollah declares Syria victory, Russia says much of country won back

By Tom Perry and Katya Golubkova

 

tag-reuters.jpg

FILE PHOTO:People watch Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as he appears on a screen during a live broadcast to speak to his supporters at an event marking Resistance and Liberation Day in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah/File Photo

     

    BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah has declared victory in the Syrian war while Russia said government forces had driven militants from much of the country where President Bashar al-Assad's rule seemed in danger two years ago.

     

    The comments from two Syrian government allies mark the most confident assessments yet of Assad's position in the war, though significant parts of the country remain outside the government's control. Russia's assertion that the army had won back 85 percent of Syria was dismissed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It said the government held 48 percent of Syria.

     

    On Tuesday, Russia's defence minister met with Assad in Damascus to discuss joint military efforts and the fight against Islamic State.

     

    The government's most recent advances have recovered swathes of territory in eastern Syria from Islamic State, which is being targeted in the same region by U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab militias.

     

    Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whose group has sent thousands of fighters to Syria, dismissed the fighting left to be done in Syria as "scattered battles".

     

    "We have won in the war (in Syria)," he said in comments reported by the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar.

     

    Referring to Assad's opponents, Nasrallah said "the path of the other project has failed and wants to negotiate for some gains". The comments, made at a religious gathering, were confirmed to Reuters by a source familiar with the speech.

     

    Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, which has fractured Syria into a patchwork of areas and generated a refugee crisis of historic proportions, forcing millions of people into neighbouring states and Europe.

     

    Military backing from Iran and Russia has proven critical to Assad in the war with insurgents including rebels who have been backed by Gulf Arab states, Turkey and the United States, which has decided to end a programme of covert support to rebels.

     

    Rebel groups were making steady advances against Assad as recently as 2015, when the deployment of the Russian air force to Syria turned the tide in his favour.

     

    Over the past year, Assad has crushed numerous pockets of rebel-held territory in the cities of Aleppo, Homs and Damascus, brokering local deals by which thousands of his opponents have been moved to remaining rebel-held enclaves of the country.

     

    Ceasefire deals brokered by Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United States in remaining rebel-held areas of western Syria have freed up manpower on the government side, helping its advance east into the oil-rich province of Deir al-Zor.

     

    AIR STRIKES

     

    Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu visited Assad on Tuesday on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, the ministry said.

     

    The meeting focused on plans to recapture Deir al-Zor city and to "strengthen efforts to combat terrorism in all Syrian territory until its utter annihilation," Assad's office said.

     

    Shoigu and Assad discussed the de-escalation deals in parts of Syria that have "sped up the victories of the Syrian army and its allies in fighting terrorism in other areas", it said.

     

    Government forces last week reached Deir al-Zor city, the provincial capital on the Euphrates River, breaking an Islamic State siege of a government-held pocket and a nearby air base.

     

    "To date, 85 percent of Syria's territory has been cleared of the militants of illegal armed groups," the RIA news agency cited Alexander Lapin, chief of staff of the Russian military contingent in Syria, as saying.

     

    Lapin made no reference to a swathe of territory held in northern Syria by an alliance of U.S.-backed militias - the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is led by the Kurdish YPG and is not at war with Assad. The Observatory said SDF-held territory amounts to 23 percent of Syria.

     

    Lapin said Islamic State fighters are still in control of around 27,000 square km of Syria's territory.

     

    "The liberation of (Deir al-Zor) city is proceeding," Lapin said. "Syrian troops are finalising the defeat of the ISIL group blocking the northern and southern districts of Deir al-Zor," he said. He said the assault was being led by General Suheil al-Hassan, a Syrian officer who has risen to prominence in the war.

     

    Referring to the Russian figure of 85 percent, a Western diplomat said: "Other numbers tell a darker story: over 400,000 killed; half the population displaced; millions of refugees."

     

    "The harder question for Russia to answer is whether any of its vaunted 85 percent is stable. The Assad state is a thin veneer stretched over a patchwork of fiefdoms."

     

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes likely to have been carried out by Russian warplanes killed 69 people since Sunday near the Euphrates River in Deir al-Zor.

     

    The Russian Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Tuesday's report by the Britain-based monitoring group.

     

    The Observatory, which identified the victims as civilians, said the air strikes had hit encampments on the western bank of the river and vessels crossing to the eastern side.

     

    Syrian state television separately reported the army was conducting artillery and machine gun attacks on rafts carrying Islamic State militants to the eastern side of the river from their last positions in Deir al-Zor city.

     

    "ONLY ESCAPE ROUTE"

     

    "Their only escape route out of the city is through rafts on the river, and god willing, we will target them in the water before they get away," a commander said in a televised interview.

     

    Aside from the territory held by the SDF and Islamic State, rebels still control a corner of the northwest, a corner of the southwest, an area near Damascus, and an area north of the city of Homs.

     

    Syrian government attacks in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus suggest Assad may yet try to recapture the remaining rebel-held areas of the west, including enclaves at the borders with Turkey, Jordan and Israel.

     

    A major general in the Syrian Republican Guard interviewed by a state-run TV station from Deir al-Zor on Monday warned Syrians who had "run away or escaped from Syria to any other country" not to return.

     

    Major General Issam Zahreddine, head of the 104 Brigade which was under IS-siege for three years in Deir al-Zor, later issued a clarification on his Facebook page, saying his warning had been directed only at people who had taken up arms.

     

    (Additional reporting by Sarah Dadouch and Laila Bassam in Beirut, Dmitry Solovyov and Jack Stubbs in Moscow; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Alison Williams)

     
    reuters_logo.jpg
    -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-13

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    8 hours ago, ilostmypassword said:

    possibly a few more countries

    Notably the Kingdom of Jordon that took in more than 345,000 Syrian refugees

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaatari_refugee_camp

    Meanwhile the country and the King himself took the fight to ISIS, boxing well above its weight class in the war against radical Islamic terror

    https://www.defensenews.com/home/2016/05/09/jordan-proves-heavyweight-in-fight-against-isis/

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    This is good news, and let'shope that Assad, Russia and Hezbollah will carry on this progress.

    Hopefully, this is a massive step towards peace in Syria.


    Notice that the report says "Military backing from Iran and Russia has proven critical to Assad in the war with insurgents including rebels who have been backed by Gulf Arab states, Turkey and the United States, which has decided to end a programme of covert support to rebels."
    Yes, Russia and Iran(Hezbollah) have been vital to Assad in this war. And indeed, the United States deciding to end covert support to the rebels has also been significant.

    Edited by tonbridgebrit
    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    13 hours ago, ilostmypassword said:

    And if the USA, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, Qatar, and possibly a few more countries, hadn't intervened in the affairs of a sovereign nation, this war would have been over a long time ago and at much less cost to human lives.

     

    Obviously not a word regarding Assad's dealings with his supposed opponents, or treatment of demonstrations contributed to the mess. And, of course, one might entertain the thought that countries supporting Assad could have avoided jumping in, thereby facilitating a new regime, or doing more to promote negotiation months and years ago.

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    14 hours ago, ilostmypassword said:

    And if the USA, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, Qatar, and possibly a few more countries, hadn't intervened in the affairs of a sovereign nation, this war would have been over a long time ago and at much less cost to human lives.

    And we would now then have an Islamic State Country covering Syria and Iraq and looking to expand.

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    5 hours ago, sanemax said:

    And we would now then have an Islamic State Country covering Syria and Iraq and looking to expand.


    You have to bear in mind, yes, Washington backed a load of rebels, and yes, some were Islamic fundamentalists. But Washington's intent was, was to "support a load of rebels, watch them remove Assad, and then look at the rebels after Assad has gone, and then bomb the rebels who are Islamic fundamentalists".

    Yes, a very dangerous strategy. But still, I don't think Washington ever intended to see a new Syria controlled by Islamic fundamentalists.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    5 hours ago, Morch said:

     

    Obviously not a word regarding Assad's dealings with his supposed opponents, or treatment of demonstrations contributed to the mess. And, of course, one might entertain the thought that countries supporting Assad could have avoided jumping in, thereby facilitating a new regime, or doing more to promote negotiation months and years ago.


    Look, if Iran/Hezbollah and Russia had not of jumped in, well yes, there would be a new regime. A new regime, Islamic fundamentalists. This would have meant Washington having to bomb some of the guys in the new regime.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    20 hours ago, ilostmypassword said:

    And if the USA, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, Qatar, and possibly a few more countries, hadn't intervened in the affairs of a sovereign nation, this war would have been over a long time ago and at much less cost to human lives.

    And if Iran and Russia hadn't intervened in a civil war, this war would have been over a long time ago and at much less cost to human lives.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    42 minutes ago, tonbridgebrit said:


    Look, if Iran/Hezbollah and Russia had not of jumped in, well yes, there would be a new regime. A new regime, Islamic fundamentalists. This would have meant Washington having to bomb some of the guys in the new regime.

    Seems the Washington backed rebels are doing OK against ISIS.  At least they are going after ISIS and not claiming to, like Russia and Assad.  Bombing innocent civilians instead.

     

    http://www.inss.org.il/publication/syrias-civil-war-kurdish-success-turkish-dilemma/

    Quote

    The success of the Syrian Democratic Forces with its Kurdish majority (especially the YPG, i.e., the People’s Protection Units, the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party) and other Sunnis in liberating parts of al-Raqqa’s suburbs from the Islamic State and in the battles to liberate the Manbij area are a necessary link in the effort to drive the Islamic State physically out of Syria.

    http://www.iraqinews.com/arab-world-news/sdf-captures-thakana-district-advances-toward-central-raqqa/

    Quote

    SDF captures Thakana District, advances toward central Raqqa

     

    Raqqa (Syrian News) The Syrian Democracy Forces (SDF), backed by U.S. troops, captured al-Thakana District, in the center of the city of Raqqa, after fierce battles with the Islamic State militants, Qasioun News reported on Wednesday.

     

    Violent battles took place between the Syrian Democratic Forces militias and the Islamic State militants in the vicinity of al-Rasheed Park and the General Hospital of Raqqa, amid artillery and rockets shelling.

     

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    37 minutes ago, craigt3365 said:

    Seems the Washington backed rebels are doing OK against ISIS.  At least they are going after ISIS and not claiming to, like Russia and Assad.  Bombing innocent civilians instead.

     

    http://www.inss.org.il/publication/syrias-civil-war-kurdish-success-turkish-dilemma/

    http://www.iraqinews.com/arab-world-news/sdf-captures-thakana-district-advances-toward-central-raqqa/

     

    Are you seriously claiming that Syria and its allies are not fighting Isis? That bombing civilians and attacking Isis are somehow mutually exclusive?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Just now, ilostmypassword said:

    Are you seriously claiming that Syria and its allies are not fighting Isis? That bombing civilians and attacking Isis are somehow mutually exclusive?

    No. Just saying ISIS isn't 100% their target. Otherwise, why use barrel bombs in primarily civilian areas?  This has been well documented.

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    3 minutes ago, craigt3365 said:

    No. Just saying ISIS isn't 100% their target. Otherwise, why use barrel bombs in primarily civilian areas?  This has been well documented.

    Really? How do you reconcile that with what you just wrote? "At least they are going after ISIS and not claiming to, like Russia and Assad.  Bombing innocent civilians instead."

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Just now, ilostmypassword said:

    Really? How do you reconcile that with what you just wrote? "At least they are going after ISIS and not claiming to, like Russia and Assad.  Bombing innocent civilians instead."

    Russia and Syria claimed they were only bombing ISIS, when in fact, they were bombing everything in sight.  Sometimes with indiscriminate chemical weapons, as has been proven.  You know this.

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Just now, craigt3365 said:

    Russia and Syria claimed they were only bombing ISIS, when in fact, they were bombing everything in sight.  Sometimes with indiscriminate chemical weapons, as has been proven.  You know this.

    I agree with this statement. But that's not what you said.  Do I really have to take apart piece by piece what you wrote to show that it says Syria was not fighting Isis but instead was bombing civilians? Once again here's your sentence:  "At least they are going after ISIS and not claiming to, like Russia and Assad.  Bombing innocent civilians instead."

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now


    • Recently Browsing   0 members

      No registered users viewing this page.

    BANGKOK 23 November 2017 10:25
    Sponsors
    ×