...If the Russian military and the entire Syrian military wanted to eliminate ISIS in Syria (said to be approximately 30k +/-), they could do so rather quickly. They’ve had over a year to assemble enough military personnel and military armament to defeat that enemy.Read more here.
They have not done so because it doesn’t fit the current agenda: keeping Assad in power.
President Trump is breaking up the availability of Assad (Russia and Iran) to hide behind the useful foil of their opposition to ISIS.
If another chemical attack takes place, Bashir Assad runs the risk of being removed. And the entire world, sans Russia and Iran, will see the removal action as justified.
Remember, the primary goal of Russia and Iran is to keep Assad in power.
♦ If Bashir Assad did not carry out the prior chemical attack, he, and Russia, is now in a position of having to make sure that another attack doesn’t take place, ever. This means Russia and Assad need to re-engage the fight against whomever ‘might’ carry out another chemical attack. (Trump wins)
♦ If Bashir Assad did carry out the prior chemical attack, he and Russia, are now unable to use that action against Assad’s political opposition. (Trump wins)
President Trump has assigned responsibility, and given consequences. President Trump is forcing Assad (and Russia/Iran) to: #1) fight ISIS, and #2) stop targeting Assad’s political opposition; at least with chemical weapons.
And THAT is the exact response Assad gave after the 59 tomahawk missiles struck the Syrian airbase. See: “Assad promises to fight ISIS harder.” This is also one of the reasons why the targeted airbase is still operational.
Now pay attention to Secretary Tillerson:
Overall, the situation in Syria is one where our approach today and our policy today is, first, to defeat ISIS. By defeating ISIS we remove one of the disruptive elements in Syria that exists today.
That begins to clarify for us opposition forces and regime forces. In working with the coalition — as you know, there is a large coalition of international players and allies who are involved in the future resolution in Syria.
So it’s to defeat ISIS; it’s to begin to stabilize areas of Syria, stabilize areas in the south of Syria, stabilize areas around Raqqa through ceasefire agreements between the Syrian regime forces and opposition forces. Stabilize those areas; begin to restore some normalcy to them. Restore them to local governance — and there are local leaders who are ready to return, some who have left as refugees — they’re ready to return to govern these areas.
Use local forces that will be part of the liberation effort to develop the local security forces — law enforcement, police force. And then use other forces to create outer perimeters of security so that areas like Raqqa, areas in the south can begin to provide a secure environment so refugees can begin to go home and begin the rebuilding process.
In the midst of that, through the Geneva Process, we will start a political process to resolve Syria’s future in terms of its governance structure, and that ultimately, in our view, will lead to a resolution of Bashar al-Assad’s departure.
~ Secretary Tillerson during Air-Strike Debrief
And Obama and Kerry? Sundance has a video in which Kerry admits arming oppositon groups.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Trying to understand Syria
Sundance at The Last Refuge must be the hardest working blogger. Today he gives us much more background information on Syria.