Syrian Army Enters 2 Villages In Wadi Barada As Reports Circulate About Another Ceasefre Agreement

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The situation is rapidly changing in the Wadi Barada area northwest of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Fresh reports appeared that at least 2 villages in Wadi Barada had decided to accept a ceasefire agreement with the Syrian government.

According to the agreement, militants will allow government engineers to enter the area and to fix the water supply line to Damascus. In turn, militants who are not from Wadi Barada will get a free passage to Idlib.

This will be the second attempt to impose, at least partly, a ceasefire regime in the region. The previous one was sabotaged by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda).

Earlier this week, Syrian army troops, backed up by warplanes and artillery units, entered the villages of Ayn Al Fijah and Baseema, engaing local militants in intense fighting. These gains reportedly lead to the militants’ decision to accept the ceasefire agreement.

Syrian Army Enters 2 Villages In Wadi Barada As Reports Circulate About Another Ceasefre Agreement

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  • Aquartertoseven

    They’re really making a mountain out of this completely besieged molehill.

  • Lynx Fēlēs

    Its becoming one of these typical “modern” proxy wars with these mini armies, ceasefires and what not. Ironically, most Syrians who should be fighting at the front right now are cooking baklava and play PingPong with German girls. Since the Syrian army itself has never been a serious force, it doesn´t surprise me at all that they take that long to conquer Wadi Barada. Terrorists there must be some real hardcore specialists, maybe they even have a real tank!!! and some makeshift artillery. If Russia would not have helped Assad, his army would have been crushed months ago by a handful of poorly trained Takfiri. So jes indeed, the Syrian military needs some urgent reforms. However, not only the military is affected by serious degradation and I am quite pessimist when it comes to the future role of Syria in the region and the world. A lame military victory in itself won´t bring long-term stability for the Syrian people. Addad´s reconciliation will fail if the political elite in Syria remains unable to coherently detect and analyze the combination of major factors that finally led to an escalation of violence in the country. This is never an easy task and I seriously doubt that Syrian government agencies are adequately prepared to engage in a (necessarily self-critical) analysis of what went wrong in Syria during the last decades. Eventhough I absolutely appreciate the (mostly) military-strategical analysis provided by South Front, there is a lack of research that could help us to fully understand how it was so easy for foreign powers to orchestrate the so-called “Arab Spring” in Syria.

    • Pave Way IV

      Agree, Lynx. The Syrian government was seriously broken before the US-led coup attempt. One can only keep their fingers crossed and hope the Syrian leaders learned something over the last five years. But why bother with a historical analysis of the vulnerability of the social contract in Syria? People were pissed off at an indifferent government and saw little chance for things getting better – aside from by force of arms. The U.S./GCC took advantage of that sentiment and inserted enough of their agents and agitators to push Syrian citizens over the edge. A cowardly act of manipulation by the U.S./GCC, but were the Syrian people’s reactions so hard to understand? Arab springs, European color revolutions… If your government really sucks and getting worse, it’s increasingly easier for an outsider to push citizens over the edge and steer the ‘revolution’ to someone else’s interests.

    • Ronald

      Its called money , BIG MONEY . Syria has not one , but two pools of oil that are EQUAL in size to the oil of Saudi Arabia . I do not claim Assad is perfect , I’m sure he’s not , but this war has all been orchestrated by outside forces , the US , UK , and France . Like Libya , they want the gold , in this case “black gold”. In “Wikileaks Files” the book (2015) , by J. Assange , you will see ( via US government documents ) that this war slowly started back in 2006 .
      Look up a US company called “Genie Energy Ltd.” (NJ), The Board : JL Rothschild ,
      James Woolsey , Robert Murdock , Larry Summers ,Dick Cheney , Bill Richardson , Michael Steinhardt and Mary Landrieu . Mary tabled the ” US – Israel Energy Cooperation Bill” in 2005 , it was passed in 2007 . Genie Energy owns “AFEC Oil and Gas” in Israel . which has laid claim to the enormous oil strata under the Syrian , Golan Heights ( Israeli occupied ). If Syria is fractured into smaller countries , it would loose its legitimate legal claim to the Golan Heights. The most common reason for the war is a rejected pipeline , but that pool of oil is it .

      • Lynx Fēlēs

        We should not unidimensionally look at the geo-strategical background and the role of foreign interests in the conflict. Foreign governments did not just clap into their hands and suddenly Al Nusra and Isis started to appear in this particular region of the world.

    • Lynx Fēlēs

      if Syria is rich in oil and natural ressources, this should ideally translate into a solid macroeconomic growth, low unemployment rates, relative equality among the citizens etc. Of course I am aware of the fact that outside interests and big money play a major role in the conflict. However, it is not sufficient to point the finger at outside influences and continue business as usual. If what happened in the last year is not a wake up call for the Syrian government, what could it be?. The simple fact that armed terrorist groups (and their western backers) were able to threaten the sovereignty of the Syrian state in such a way speaks for the weakness and lack of legitimacy of the Syrian state among significant sectors of the population. Foreign interest groups had to find a social and ideological base where they could construct their intervention. The educational system in Syria is in a very bad condition (and has been so before the war started) and instead of monolithically blaming foreign interests, Syrian government officials should at the inside. Since there have been great problems in the past, it is questionable (I am referring to a post-war scenario) that reconciliation will produce the outcomes the Syrian government expects from such a process. I am trying to argue that holistic policies are needed to conceptualize terrorism as a complex problem that goes way beyond immediate military objectives.

  • Pave Way IV

    This is pretty much going as planned, including al Nusra breaking the first ceasefire. The process of sorting out jihadi head-choppers from local rebels is extremely difficult. Russia and Syria have put in a process of local rebels settling their legal status with the state. There are a few dozen taking advantage of that now in a couple of places, but hardly anything like a mass disarmament. Locals want to stop fighting but don’t want to get booted out of their homes or arrested. That’s what this process allows, while at the same time giving rebels that refuse to quit fighting a bus ticket to Idlib.

    Is this over then? Of course not. All of al Nusra and foreign jihadis have not left – not sure if any have yet. There will be another breach of the ceasefire, another Syrian push deeper into the villages followed by another ceasefire and round of negotiations. Each time, more locals are evacuated, more local rebels have their legal status cleared and more foreign head-choppers leave for Idlib. The whole process might even repeat again but eventually, everyone left in Wadi Barada will belong there and will have their legal status settled, and foreigners and everyone that wants to keep fighting will be in Idlib or somewhere else.

    • PZIVJ1943

      “There will be another breach of the ceasefire”
      Good call! It is reported that SAA is in conflict with Fateh Al Sham in Bassima village. They are not willing to get on the green bus yet. Hope that this process will not take long. The civs in Damascus may be getting irritated with lack of water, and now not enough natural gas for home heating. But they will get by OK, and have endured hardships of this conflict before.

      • Pave Way IV

        Apparently Damascus doesn’t use much natural gas for residential heating. Electricity or bottled gas for supplemental heating, and bottled gas for cooking. Electricity is rationed though because power plants are natural gas-fired – some areas only get a few hours a day. Bottled gas is in short supply, but available according to @jacm212

  • Lynx Fēlēs

    Realistically speaking, the government and military are doing an ok job. Reconciliation and fixing ex-terrorists legal status might be the way to go for now. It´s still worrying to see that the Syrian government might continue its business as usual as soon as terrorists are oficially rehabilitated and converted into normal citizens again.

  • Lynx Fēlēs

    It´s a fundamental misinterpretation to assume that this reconciliation can be simply planned and executed as a merely bureaucratic process and that terrorists become nice law obeying citizens as soon as their legal status is fixed. After all, the rebel´s worldview, ideology and mindset will stay.

    • Pave Way IV

      You’re making too much of the word ‘reconciliation’. Nobody is changing anyone’s mind here, and nobody is being ‘rehabilitated’. Syria is trying to separate foreign head-choppers from it’s (rightfully) pissed-off citizen rebels. Syria (with Russian prodding) is trying to remove a bureaucratic barrier – the consideration of a Syrian rebel as an armed enemy of the state and someone with no legal status. That situation – the threat of state/legal retaliation makes it pointless for locals to lay down their arms or quit fighting.

      This is a bureaucratic/legal reconciliation that just gives actual Syrian citizen rebels who don’t to fight anymore a way to stop without being hunted down by the state and thrown into prison. They don’t sign papers saying they love Assad and agree with the government.

      • Lynx Fēlēs

        I perfectly understand what the so-called reconciliation process is about and I agree that this is the right choice taken by the Syrian government at this particular point in the history of the conflict. However, much broader efforts are needed to effectively counter the complex roots of this situation. The reintegration of Syrian citizen-rebels into civil life will not be easy, and serious research is needed in order to fully understand the diversity of motives that have turned ordinary citizens into rebels in the first place. In the long term, reconciliation must tackle the complex roots of the problem, beyond superficial bureaucratic/legal procedures. Nevertheless, the way it is currently done seems to be the right choice, at least in the short term (considering all types of military and strategical realeties mentioned in the comments).

    • Andre Lopes

      You are not seeing the advantage points of this process. Every time that a truce takes place, the government saves soldiers lifes, they save ammunition. They separate the Mercenaries from the local population and mercenaries go to Idlib, where Russian and Syrian air force can bombard at will with no restrains and the government have clear target were the enemy is clearly identified. This is exactly the kind of strategy that save resources of the government and optmises it.

      • adzsiam

        Great point there.

  • adzsiam

    I suppose there is the fear that the rebels could completely destroy the water treatment / supply facilities, if the ‘Axis of Resistance’ continued to fight to destroy them. Millions would have to weather the hardship without adequate water. There is the question of non combatants being caught in the crossfire at Wadi Barada.