17.07.2018 Author: Yuriy Zinin

Syrian Armed Forces Stage a Final Assault of the so-called “Cradle of the Revolution”


Today, the so-called anti-government opposition in Syria and those media sources that had been supporting those are in a state of disarray, as Damascus is retaking one village after another in the Daraa Governorate, a southern region of the Syrian Arab Republic. This region was perceived for the longest time as the “cradle of the revolution”, together with the city of Daraa that lies in the center of the Governorate of the same name. This perception was pushed by all sorts of media sources back in March 2011, when first anti-government riots broke out in Syria. Those protests looked like a good chance to bring down the powerful Syrian government by the Persian Gulf monarchies and the West, so they needed a symbol to rally people around, to boost the confidence of various insurgent groups and they’ve managed to turn the Daraa Governorate into just that.

The present situation in Daraa is summarized by the report of the London-based Al-Hayat that reports an imminent fall of the “stronghold of the revolution”. The city in which her first sparks flared up, these days watches getting extinguished. This testifies to the rapid collapse for all anti-government forces across Syria.

This shows that all this revolutionary rhetorics across all these years was nothing but a cover-up for a external players supporting all sorts of anti-government factions, their leaders and their ideologists, especially those of the poisonous jihadi ultra-conservative type. Those warlords would often develop bitter rivalry with each other, as each of the factions sought to grab as much land as possible, while demanding a large share of external financial and supply assistance coming from foreign behind-the-scenes players. It goes without saying that locals were usually the ones to suffer from these disputes governed by greed and greed alone.

Now the enemies of the Syrian government are caught off guard by the rapid advance of the Syrian armed forces deep inside the “cradle of the revolution”, which forces them to frantically search for some sort of justification of the crushing defeat they’re facing. There’s a growing number of statements that international humanitarian organizations and foreign countries that those warlords relied upon for their careless existence have not pushed those “revolutionary forces” under the bus. They are behind themselves with furry at the fact that these countries were not consistent in their desire to bring down the Assad government when the situation on the ground was favorable for them at the very beginning of the conflict. They are also talking about vested interests of these countries, as Syria has turned into a contention point for both regional and international players that pursue their own interests on this ancient land.

However, such hysterical cries have been heard before in the circles of the anti-Damascus opposition before, as a rule, they would follow immediately any major defeat suffered at the hands of the Syrian armed forces. Today, however, those seem to sound much louder. To explain this phenomenon, says a well-known Arab political analyst Vail Isam, one has to take a look back at the seven years of the Syrian conflict, throughout which the opposition sought to justify its internal feud and successive failures with all sorts of excuses, but everything has an end to it.

“Pocket revolutionaries” would quickly appear on the political arena, at various international summits and would soon disappear just as rapidly, which indicated that none of them enjoyed real support and sentiments of the Syrian population.

As for the allegations that Washington somehow struck a secret deal with Moscow about the surrender of militant positions in Syria in exchange for some sort of concessions from Russia, those are just that. The situation on the ground was shifting radically due to a string of military victories secured by Damascus, and a constant string of defeats suffered by the anti-government forces, hence international players had to adjust their position accordingly, that’s how it is and it’s never the other way around.

The army of the Syrian Arab Republic, with the support of its allies, keeps advancing, which pushes anti-government forces into a corner with no political or military hopes left to enjoy. Russia is expanding its influence. Damascus forces demonstrate their will to fight a bitter fight and prevail, as we’ve seen in Aleppo, Al-Qalamoun ,Ghouta and now in the Daraa Governorate.

According to the BBC, armed groups claiming to be the “heirs of the first revolutionary fighters” of 2011 are heading into their “last fight”, and it’s hard to suspect the British Broadcasting Corporation of having any sympathy towards the government in Damascus.

One can only add that the sponsors from the Arab world and the West have been behind the training, financing and arming of the opposition forces in Daraa, as they did pretty much everywhere in Syria. Now their doomed henchmen of different colors, voice all sort of nasty things against their former patrons, just like it was in Afghanistan, in Libya, and that’s how they meet their end in Syria.

Yury Zinin, Leading Research Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.