Russia recently began striking the ISIS capital of Al Raqqah. This might seem like a sound approach for defeating the Islamic State, but it is, in fact, a formula for disaster for the entire region. That’s because Russian troops and other combat forces allied to them have failed to seal the “backdoor” exits and cut off the escape routes from the city; and ISIS is using those escape routes to get away from their attackers. Thus, the Russians have effectively compelled the dispersal of ISIS throughout the region. In doing so, and thanks to other indiscriminate attacks they have conducted in the area, the Russians have ensured the prolongation of the conflict, perhaps for another 10 years. Of course they have also ensured that the footprint they have thereby established in the region will also last at least that long. It remains to be seen, however, whether they find the cost of sustaining that footprint is worth the effort.
On 2 JUN 15 NEC-SE posted the article:
In the article we stated: ” On 29 JAN 15 Syrian Air Forces air strikes against ISIS forces in Aleppo killed the ISIS leader of Aleppo Abou Khadija Al-gawolani (Gabhat Al-Nasra). This was done to ensure they could affect ISIS operations within the region.”
“At that time the Syrian military had enveloped the ISIS forces in Aleppo and was resupplying their Shia populace in Aleppo via air resupplies.”
“In late JAN 2015 ISIS had only 10,000 plus fighters, which were dispersed between the Shia districts of Aleppo and the city of Ar-Raqqah (capital of the Islamic State). Syrian government method of operation at that time was to surround ISIS but not defeat them completely but starve them out. They did so on two occasions in Aleppo in late January 2015 and in Northern Aleppo in early February 2015. After starving out ISIS the Syrian government negotiated with ISIS leadership they could influence and allowed ISIS to have an escape route into Al-Raqqah.
Syria government has done this and will continue to do this for three reasons.”
1. The enemy of my enemy is my ally.
During an interview on World Over on 21 May 2015 I stated that Bashar Al Assad might not last six months. The speed by which Al Nusra is moving in Syria has possibly shifted that timeline to the left.
On 28 May 2015 NEC-SE posted that “Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s Syria wing, intends to capture Damascus and oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the group’s leader said in a broadcast on Wednesday. Nusra Front has made gains in northwestern Syria alongside other insurgents in recent weeks, seizing the city of Idlib in March and the town of Jisr al-Shughour town last month, bringing them closer to the government-held coastline. It is the most powerful faction in Syria opposing both Assad and Islamic State, an offshoot of al Qaeda. Both have been hit by U.S.-led air strikes.” (Coordination Cell)
2. Al Assad needs an enemy to survive.
As long as ISIS is alive and well in Syria that means the regime leadership can use force in Syria countering both internal and external opposition claims for him to defend himself and counter a possible case against his regime which would hold him responsible for possible War Crimes trials in the future.
3. U.S. policy is slowed given ISIS operations in Syria.
As long as ISIS is alive the U.S. policy in the region will not concentrate on his removal from power
Today the Arab countries in the Middle East and even some westerners who want to see ISIS destroyed immediately are celebrating the below article which states: “The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) is under attack from above, but this time it is not from the U.S. led “Anti-ISIS Coalition” or the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF); no, the terrorist group is being bombarded by the numerous fighters jets of the Russian Air Force that are patrolling the skies above Syria’s eastern countryside.”
“In a matter of 48 hours, ISIS has been struck by the Russian Air Force inside the provincial capital of Al-Raqqa and its surrounding area at least 25 times and each time, the aforementioned air force targets an imperative site that was relatively untouched by the U.S. led Anti ISIS Coalition; this includes the Tabaqa Military Airport and Tabaqa National Hospital – ISIS’ primary military base and headquarters in Al-Raqqa.”
NEC-SE warns about celebrating the possible extension of the war in the region for another 10 years given the blood of the people spilled in the region is not cheap.