International Military Review – Syria, May 23, 2016

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The operation of the Syrian government forces in the Aleppo city is facing a real challenge. A critical moment in the activity of the loyalists was the fall of the town of Khan Touman that has been seized by Al Nusra and the group’s allies. Iranians took major casualties in the clashes there. Meanwhile, Palestinian militias failed to cut the militants’ supply lines in the area of Handarat. The source of this situation isn’t a secret. It’s a low level of the staff planning exercise and tactics of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (IRGC). For example, to rely only on irregular military formations in the atempt to cut off the supply lines of the militants near Aleppo is a major mistake.

Describing this operation, Western experts argue some difficulties between Moscow and Teheran. According to them, Iran is pushing a military solution of the Syrian crisis, while Russia is supporting the international diplomatic efforts as the only successful way. Iranian forces are also dissatisfied by the low level of the Russian air support at Khan Touman, ignoring bad weather conditions at that time. SouthFront doesn’t support the radical views of the Western experts because the ongoing diplomatic efforts don’t exclude the ability to conduct military operations against the sides, excluded from the ceasefire. However, the recent developments have shown clearly that the IRGC isn’t able to independent offensive or defensive operations without the Russian air support and let’s be clear without Russian military strategists.

The very same time, SouthFront can’t confirm the rumors, launched by the Western media that Hezbollah units are to be re-deployed from Aleppo to the Syrian-Lebanon border and the Shia group is decreasing its involvement in the conflict. This misinformation has arisen from the fact that some Hezbollah units have been sent from Aleppo to Daraa and Homs where the situation is acute, recently. The death of Mustafa Badreddine changes nothing in Hezbollah’s approach in Syria. The group will participate in the conflict as long as it‘s needed for its main foreign sponsor, Iran. The problem is the IRGC, Hezbollah and the SAA aren’t able to deal a devastating blow to the terrorists in the country because of a low level of the officers’ qualification. The solution of the problem could be the recognition of the leading role of the Russian command staff in planning and coordination of the ongoing operations. If Teheran isn’t ready to do this because of some reasons, we all will continue to observe heavy loses of the loyalists in hardly successful attempts to develop the moment against terrorists.

Iran has always had an image of a hard-nosed negotiator and a skittish ally. The rigid conformity to this approach with the only allied world power could easily undermine Teheran’s claims to the regional leadership.

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  • Putin needs to start a tschistka fast,i cant stand this “diplomatic approach” talk any longer.Awarding the anglo-zionists doesnt pay.Its useless.You either crush the terrorist in Syria or the russians will have to do it in their own cities.

    • Boris Kazlov

      Yes, +1000.JUst remember that the enemy is the empire, not ISIS, that is just a facade. The anti-missile shield close to Russia is a much more serious threat. They can intercept Russian retaliatory ICBMs, so they feel emboldened to launch a first nuclear strike. Russia must destroy those weapons firif it want to survive the onomng barrage of missiles.

  • Escapos

    Southfront is mostly positive about SAA and Russian cooperation. But when an succesfull operation happends the main source is always the Russian army/airforce. When there is a faillure it suddenly is because of poor planning.
    Its fine to give us a good analyses of the planning power of the SAA and their allies, but dont do this only to put the Russian forces in a good daylight.
    The russian forces, like the western forces, can do bad things aswell. Its a human operations, things go bad sometimes.

    • The fact is the Russian intervention changed the course of the war. In 2015, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria almost lost the war to Al Nusra, ISIS & others. And there were no pre-conditions to believe that the Assad government was able to survive for a significant amount of time. Now, when the situation is changed, it becomes clear that Iran implements a kind of single eyed approach while Russia attempts to be more agile. Russia and Iran have, roughly speaking, the same goals in Syria but they implement different approaches and have different styles of diplomacy. The Iranian approach and claims to the regional leadership don’t allow Tehran to recognize, at least at the official level, that its capabilities are limited by a wide range of factors (military, economic, political, reactions of the US and its allies). In turn, Moscow uses diplomacy, actively, to overpass the limits of the air and advisory campaigns in Syria.

  • Jean de Peyrelongue

    In this article, South front is stressing the weakness of the SAA, IRGC and the Hezbollah. The weakness seems to be in the management. I think that this message should be heard for I believe that ISIS is supported by NATO experts and ISIS will be defeated if SAA, IRGC and the Hezbollah are getting the same level of expertise. Courage is not enough. Iran should learn that because if Washington and the Zionists realize that Iran’s strength is just bluff, they are going to destroy Iran

    • In the complicated situation, it’s needed to be objective in the estimates of the sides’ capabilities. We hope we will be heared at the approach will be changed.

  • Sep 3, 2014 Retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney admits “We Helped Build ISIS”

    https://youtu.be/Z_zf7GPQqxU

  • Aug 7, 2015 US Intelligence Confirms US Support for ISIS

    A partially-declassified DIA report brings disturbing details about US support for jihadists in Syria. What kind of game is the US government playing in the Middle East?

    https://youtu.be/d2WrwUM2RwI

  • George Washington

    When was the last time the West honored an agreement for longer than it took them to take advantage of its terms?

    Russian diplomats are superb but I think Putin needs to stop listening to their promises. America is not going to change its methods in the region until someone demonstrates to them that they cannot achieve their goals by brute force. Successful military campaigns are the only way to do this. Single punches that ultimately lack momentum, such as the Aleppo and Palmyra offensives, are insufficient to impress the Americans. As long as their proxies can walk freely in the streets of Damascus and Aleppo there will be no meaningful “peace” in Syria. Liberating the heroic garrison of Deir Ezzor via Palmyra would have been such a campaign, but at the crucial moment Russian withdrew many of its forces. In my opinion this major strategic error made was done primarily for diplomatic reasons.

    Much like Iran, Russia cannot win the war on its own, either. Intervention on that level would have dire global consequences. Moscow must combine her resources with Teheran to achieve victory, however they do not have the same ultimate objectives in the region. In my opinion Russia is better served by making sacrifices in the current negotiations with her allies than the alternative; “appeasement” in the face of blatant American duplicity.

    Let us all remember the tragic fate of British P.M. Neville Chamberlain’s heartfelt and honest attempts to avert the last great disaster of mankind. I pray Putin is not repeating his mistakes.

  • Boris Kazlov

    Irn ia right that the only solution is military. Russia is wrong about he so-called diplomatic solution. Woom are they talking to? Terrorist and donkey Kerry (a terrorist enabler), all they get is a slap in the face, well-deserved for groveling to such animals,.meanwhile all the gains on the ground are being reversed. The erratic semi-withdrawal policy only emboldens the terrorists, Russia is showing that their support is half-hearted, and that they are chicken, did not react to the downing of their plane and murder of servicemen, SHAME!

    • The game isn’t “Russia, Syria, Iran against terrosts in Syria”. There are much more involved sides: the US, France, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan etc, plus non-state actors as Kurds and Hezbollah. This is why rough attempts to solve the conflict only by force will lead only to complication of the regional crisis. You can find additional info in the comment below, if you want.

    • Gabriel Hollows

      I believe they are buying time for the full modernization of their army. But they shouldn’t have pulled back most of their air forces, seemingly they forgot ISIS and co. have unlimited reinforcements.

  • Gabriel Hollows

    Russia shouldnt have pulled back their air forces from Syria, now the highly incompetent Revolutionary Guard and the highly understaffed SAA will be unable to push back the terrorist hordes. Terrible move by Russia.