Why Does Syrian Army Stop Active Military Operation In Aleppo?

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Why Does Syrian Army Stop Active Military Operation In Aleppo?

The Syrian army has stopped “active military activities” against militants in the city of Aleppo, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Thursday refering to the fact that this is needed to allow civilians to withdraw from the battleground. The statement was made on the sidelines of a meeting of ministers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Lavrov made the announcement following the meeting with US State Department Secretary, John Kerry on the Syrian issue.

Another unilateral ceasefire by Syrian government forces in Aleppo has already caused a sceptical reaction among the expert community interested in the Syrian conflict. Many believe that Aleppo militants will sabotage again the withdrawal of civilians from the city because militants need the local population as a human shield against government forces and as a reason of constant diplomatic and media pressure on Syria and Russia.

Another important question raised by Syrian experts is: Was the Russian decision to push the unilateral ceasefire related to Washinton’s alleged attempts to save US inteligence and special service members from the Aleppo pocket? On Tuesday Al-Hadas news agency reportred, citing own source, that the negotiations were aimed to assist US spies, including an intelligence officer embedded with militants and an informant named Balal Abdel Karim to leave Aleppo.

However, Lavrov’s statement does not mean that the Syrian army will halt military operations. In case of active operations by Jaish al-Fatah and Fatah Halab militants, government forces will continue the offensive.

The Russian attitude over Aleppo is also could be linked to the critical situation near Palmyra where ISIS is successfully advancing against the Syrian army. If true, this is another evidence that the ISIS terrorist group coordinates its efforts in Syria with the so-called “moderate opposition” and its Western puppeteers.

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  • BMWA1

    I suppose this is where the Federal employees are fleet of feet.

  • Byzantines

    The ex Yeltsin minister Lavrov plays dirty games behind Assad back.

  • Alexey Kozyachiy

    I bet US offered something so valuable in order to save their CIA agents in Aleppo. Russians could not resist :)

  • paul

    I do not wish to be quick to jump to conclusions that may prove to be
    unfounded. I am however lacking any understanding as to why this is
    happening. I read the above article but feel that the writer is as
    bewildered as I am and was simply feeling round for some plausible
    explanation. I hope SouthFront will be able to give definitive
    explanation soon.

    • VGA

      Why not consolidate the Aleppo gains? There are russian and tsetsen forces travelling there for demining and security patrols. And the airforce can focus on the Palmyra crisis. Maybe there will be some prisoner exchange etc.

      Meanwhile, the terrorists trapped in Aleppo are not going anywhere and have run out of supplies. Let them freeze a little more.

      I think before the year is over, a full surrender will be negotiated, nice and clean.

  • Sephy

    I think kerry and lavrov are couple, they love and understand each other in a way beyond explanations.

    • Terence Silvestre Jr.

      Your comment made me laugh a lot.
      But, maybe this is the main and only explanation, given everything that happened before and how bad the USA treated Russia and they still agree matters between the two together.

      • Byzantines

        The western media never accuse Lavrov.He is their favorit ,the last Yeltsins people

        • Pavel Pustina (ARTforU)

          They can not accuse him even if they want because of his diplomacy craftmanship.

  • grumpy_carpenter

    The rebels are done as a military force, they ain’t going anywhere, they ain’t getting resupplied, their time will be spent contemplating their impending capture or death. The silence and waiting is more torturous than fighting. Military operations are costly in dollars and lives. if the Syrian government can resolve this peacefully and save the lives of Syrian soldiers and civilians all the power to them. If not so be it.

  • grumpy_carpenter

    One other thing….if there are CIA assets in the Aleppo pocket or there are secrets the USA doesn’t want revealed Russia now has leverage ….. negotiations may yield a far bigger victory than simply liquidating the pocket.

    • John Whitehot

      Somehow, I find hard to believe that it’s all about one, single intel officer entrapped in the pocket. They would had extricate him long ago, since I don’t think they missed the notion that the SAA would had advanced decisively in the city. I still pretty convinced that there are some other reason which are of importance to Israel more than the US (or maybe both). Perhaps (but I’m speculating) some definitive proof that Israel has supported Al-Nusra and ISIS all the way. If Syria would expose that kind of proof to the muslim world it would send shockwaves and put some countries, especially Saudi Arabia, in a very difficult situation – in addition of refreshing every muslim’s memory on who’s their real enemy, no matter which sect they’re from.

  • Byzantines

    Putin will make everything in order the westerns to lift the sanctions.The west blackmail Putin and a blackmailed leader is a disaster for Russia.

    • Jorj_Mckie

      What is mean everything? Withdraw from Ukraine or Crimea?

      What is mean blackmail Putin? They have evidence that Putin fucked his sister or took money from oligarch?

      They blackmail Russia. But they do it all the time. And now Russia and Syria make the same.
      This is “foreign affairs”.

      • Byzantines

        Putin be Blackmailed with sanctions ,its seems that it works and westerns will do it again.Putin forced to anexation Crimea after Kiev coup.After that he try hard to lift the sanctions,the Minsk truce dosent worked ,now try with Syria.

        • Jesus

          Russia is better off with sanctions in place, they are becoming more self reliant and creative.

    • ziga

      Don’t worry, rats are not going anywhere, interrogators from chechnya are on the way

      • Byzantines

        Not be so sure.maybe they are there for to stop SAA and Iran ,not forget that they are sunits

        • ziga

          At least 50% of SSA are sunni, for true Syrian sunni shia cristian are things of personal belive not political side. Members of vostok batalion are of the same belive, that’s why there are best anti terorist fighters i rf.

          • Mahmoud Larfi

            Actually the figure says that more than 80% of SAA are sunni.

          • ziga

            Could be, sure

  • Sephy

    I hope lavrov resign, and instead, Zaharova should be appointed

    • Byzantines

      He is dinosaur since Yeltsins era

    • John Smith

      Lavrov is a progressionist. He is the right person on the right place.

      As I said before, winning through negotiations is a good trend. It send the right signal to militants besieged in other fronts, like Eastern Ghouta, Hama and elsewhere that this is an option they have and there is no point to fight till last man.

      After clearing these pockets then another stage in the war will follow.

      • Byzantines

        He is the grave digger of Serbia ,Donbass with high treason Minsk truce and now the Syria.

        • John Smith

          Lavrov and Putin are selected in their place by the people of RUSSIA to serve them and their interests not to serve the interests of the people of Serbia or Donbass. Russia will help and is helping them, but not to the expense of 140 million people of Russia.

          If you can’t understand the above, you have a problem.

  • Ole Johansen

    Its a smart move. Get the civilians out or its clear that they are held hostage by the terrorists. Keep the air clean for no airdrops. Continue small and “invisible” moves to keep them awake. Flares, Strong Wifisignals to reach cockroaches smartphones. Drop flyers with instructions. Be ready to check the captagon level in blood or gunpowder traces for checkout . Keep a psychological war going all day and all night with loud sound. Break their moral down. Keep drones over them all day and night to monitor their moves and positions. Wow… This a big time to experience.

    The west got to shut its butthole now.

    I would love to see the first parachuted soldiers in at early morning, just before sunrise and a attach at all fronts at the same time. Swarm of jets flying fast and low over the pocket. So just the sound will confuse them. Just the noise is the point. They will not understand what is to come next. They look up and SAA change positions.

    Any old Mig can join in on such. Even old civil jets.

    What do you think guys?

    Should i get into psychological warfare as a new career or simply visit a psychologist :-)

  • Byzantines

    We saw this time and time again, both in Syria and in Ukraine. Kremlin cares only about cutting deals with the US that make it seem important as a power broker. Failed diplomacy caught in a 90s self-defeatist attitude.

    • 888mladen .

      The most of the commentators have no idea how RU ruling elite works. And yes Putin will do everything to remove the western sanctions which have been hurtful to them. There is only one aria where RU interests are in harmony with Syrian government’s and that’s destruction of terrorists in order to prevent another Chechnya or Dagestan war. RU is obviously using Syria as a polygon for testing their weapons and attracting more sales for their military industrial complex. Another interest is tied to the RU energy sector which goal is to prevent the Iranian gas to reach EU market. That’s why RU signed an agreement with Turkey for transit of their gas pipeline through its territory. That’s why there is no interest in liberating eastern parts of Syrian territory on the part of Russia. Unfortunately the most of people are capable of scratching the surface only. So this comment will not attract much attention or positive response either.

      • Joseph Scott

        I agree, and I think that if one listens to Putin’s own comments, he has pretty will said exactly that. He has always been pretty straightforward about the notion that each nation must act in it’s own interests, and that an unemotional acceptance of that, where nations don’t take their rivalries and disputes personally, is one of the foundations of peace. Aside from the part about Iran, I can recall him stating everything you have said.

  • Byzantines

    I hope Assad and Iran to say a big F😁Ck off to loser Lavrov and to kill all the canibals terrorists

  • henrikrclausen

    I don’t think the Palmyra explanation holds, even though I’m quite aware of the difficulties there: If Syria continued to wipe the floor in Aleppo, it would release lots of resources just a few days from now, making them available at Palmyra. There must be some serious pressure involved (or promises) to make Syria stop this close to complete victory.

    Somewhat related, I noticed that the video clips very frequently have chemical weapons and production facilities in the buildings abandoned by the ‘moderate’ rebels. An article focusing on that aspect would be very welcome – this is something that should cause international outrage, but doesn’t.

  • Byzantines

    Well, Lavrov here again at play. Ah Russia, time will teach one of the most grave lesson same as it was made with Hilter. When Russia cut a deal with Hilter and then saw more than 25 millions of his people been dead. I believe great nations learn from their past mistake. Why Lavrov who I think was taking from time-off is coming back to ask for a cease fire.

  • Douglas Houck

    From SANA which pretty much just reiterated the RT and TASS articles. Here is the “Official Reason” for the pause in fighting.

    ““Our strategy is very simple – it is entirely based on a UN Security
    Council resolution, which envisions to mercilessly fight terrorists
    till their complete destruction, while at the same time solving
    humanitarian problems of the civilian population and starting a
    political process,” he said.” …

    “Combat actions of the Syrian Army in eastern Aleppo are
    suspended today, as a yet another and the biggest one so far operation to
    evacuate the civilians willing to leave the place is underway there,” he
    said. “There are some 8,000 people in the column. That’s a huge operation
    and the withdrawal route is five kilometers long.”.

    Also discussions between the Russian and US “experts” are not to begin until Saturday, plenty of time to get the 8,000 civilians out and finish the job. We forget that there is a very important political element to war. Syria has always given the terrorists the option of surrendering. If the terrorists are finally giving up the civilians (I expect many are their own family members) as human shields, etc. who wouldn’t take advantage. Afterwards the remaining terrorist can commit collective suicide fighting the SAA. Remember the object is not to kill people but to liberate the city. In the end, Syria will totally take back Aleppo, and continue on with eliminating the other terrorists.

    • Terence Silvestre Jr.

      Hopefully time will give you reason, because from experience none of the previous unilateral truces of russia worked for nothing more than the benefit of the terrorists and their western sponsors.

      • Douglas Houck

        I don’t disagree with your thoughts on previous “unilateral” truces, and I’m always hoping for increased reason, but this pause is not unilateral but very specific. The removal of a column of 8.000 civilians.

        Other than being able to get some sleep the terrorists will gain no benefit from this pause. They are confined in a very small space and are completely surrounded. As they don’t appear to want to surrender, the killing can restart soon enough. I see this as positive, not negative. Time will tell.

      • Ole Johansen

        I think this is a great strategic move. Lets hope we see some more of that.

      • MeMadMax

        In the case of aleppo, the terrorists are 100% cut off from resupply/reinforcements. So a cease-fire will have negligible effect on the outcome as the terrorists won’t be able to do much but dig their holes deeper.

    • Byzantines

      The agreement brings Americans inside Allepo.Crazy…

      • Ole Johansen

        There is no agreement. Where do you take this stuff from?

        • Byzantines

          Russian and American experts will control the evacuation of civilians and terrorists.Americans boots inside Allepo.

          • Ole Johansen

            Thanks for you your reply. We shall get back to you soon… BIIP…

          • Douglas Houck

            From what I’ve read I don’t believe that is true. Is there a source that you can point me to that says such things?

          • Skywolf

            No, it does not say this. They are referring to the *civilians* inside Aleppo, not Russian and American experts inside Aleppo. You are reading it wrong.

      • Douglas Houck

        I may be missing something but I don’t see anywhere that Americans are going inside Aleppo. The discussion between the Russian and American “experts” are for Saturday in Geneva. The TASS article may assuage your concerns.

        http://tass.com/politics/917876

        • Byzantines

          From RT.” In the telephone call with Lavrov, Kerry agreed that military experts from Russia and the US should cooperate closely on the withdrawal of the militants from Aleppo, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.”

          • Douglas Houck

            Gotcha, I think you are misreading the article. That agreement which needs Russian and American “experts” is a discussion between Lavrov and Kerry, based on Kerry’s proposal from earlier this week which was modified and redrawn by the Americans. That has nothing to do with the evacuation of 8,000 civilians for which a pause in the fighting is taking place.

            My read is the Russians are stringing the Americans along for political reasons, but as any agreement will most likely be after the facts on the ground, there will be nothing to agree to. The “experts” discussion is for show for both sides. If either side was serious it would be happening right now, not some time in the future as the facts on the ground are changing too fast.

          • Byzantines

            We will see.Hopping that it will be no like the last ceasefire when American coalition air forces killed more than 100 SAA soldiers.

          • Douglas Houck

            I agree with you. From what Lavrov is saying I don’t believe the Russians are falling for that one again.

          • VeeNarian (Yerevan)

            Yup! Just like they “co-operated” over Deir-Ezzor and a hundred heroes were deliberately killed by the massive 6000 country US coalition.
            Nothing good can come from Kerry-Lavrov talks.
            How moral is it for Russia to let US/UK/French/Saudi special forces escape from the Aleppo pocket after the mayhem and murder they have caused to the people of Syria?
            These foreign special forces must be captured and exposed for the whole world to see, and only then will the reputation of the “superior and civilised” will be put in the dustbin of history where it belongs.

    • Marek Pejović

      you are right. i fully support the idea of the ceasefire.
      we in syrian war community can get a bit agitated about such stuff but it’s important to follow the situation on the ground. removing these civilians is IMMENSLY important because this will shape the “street narrative” among common people in Aleppo how they will view the Syrian arab republic, will they resent it or support it. 20 years down the road THIS battle for hearts is equally important as military victory, and someone is doing it right!
      plus, militarily speaking, with this removal of civilians, SAA should have free hand to go all-out and clear the pocket. it could be that SAA traded 8000 civilians for some time for terrorists to recuperate.

  • ziga

    I hope Syria and Russia show mercy to democratic freedom fighters / philosophers with al least 5 PhDs on human rights, allow them safe passage on their virgins, or a full-time job 24/7 in one of the reconstuction company for at least 20 years.

  • Jorj_Mckie

    Sun Tzu:
    “To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.”

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Sun_Tzu

    • Byzantines

      Never make a cheasefire before complete defeat your enemy.Sun Tzu

      • Jorj_Mckie

        Even if you lose?
        Doesn’t make sense and i am not remember it.

    • Jesus

      That saying pertains to a large army being surrounded, large enough where if they have nothing to loose and fight without inhibitions they can win the battle. Giving them an avenue to extricate themselves anulls the possibility of fighting with nothing to loose.
      The situation in Aleppo does not fit the maxim, the surrounded jihadi forces are numerically inferior and unmotivated.

  • wimroffel

    This is very similar to the way the rebels in West Ghouta, Daraya, etc. were allowed to evacuate to Idlib. This way the government is showing itself to be reasonable and it is avoiding shedding unnecessary blood on both sides. It is important that the government doesn’t behave too revengeful towards the rebels: it will need to re-integrate them into society when the fighting is over.

    It is hard to say what now will happen. The rebels may continue the fighting or the Syrian government may not be serious about a truce. However, if the truce works the likely outcome is some dissent among the rebels and in the end a departure towards Idlib.

    • sólyomszem

      1st
      these are no rebels. these animals are foreign mercenaries.

      2nd
      this step will not spare lives. the ´jihadists will continue in killing.

      3rd
      the go in alaeppo and idlib province. will attack aleppo city from western side. that means, large amount of ssyrian soldiers will be blocked.

  • John

    The rebels are trapped like rats and out of room to maneuver. Any short break now, is only good for the SAA side, to make adjustments. Meanwhile, terrorist groups continue to be hit and territory retaken by the SAA and company, as I type this all out. In short, the rebels now, are beyond help and salvation. My two cents on this.

  • PZIVJ1943

    Clearing out civs is a great idea, and good for SY/RU pr. The jihadist situation will not improve, but the SAA can rest and refit. If there is Al-Nusra request for safe passage, this break is normal. Let them go to more open Idlid area where they be struck by air/arty easily in the future. This way Aleppo pocket will be quickly cleared with less SAA loss. If not, the remaining die-hards can die hard. The SAA/RU may use the break to concentrate air power over Palmyra. Boy, those ISUS squads just seem to pop up out of nowhere, don’t they? Maybe they drove all the way from Mosul!

  • Karzai

    From day 1st ISil , Nusra and all other oposition rebel are same with same Goals and same backers.

  • MeMadMax

    Sun Tzu says:
    “When you surround an army, leave an outlet free.”

    What this means is that if you totally surround an army/combat force and give them no other option than to fight to the death, then that is what will happen. This will cause the battle to be drawn out longer than it needs to be and many more people killed than needs to be…

  • Bob

    I wonder about dynamics of this stuff – Russia has been very gracious
    about giving ‘out’ clauses to US/NATO over Syria. So on that basis I
    would assume their are foreign military or intelligence personnel
    currently trapped in east Aleppo? Most likely, are Turkish military
    personnel and engineers, maybe US, maybe even Israeli? Are they offering
    them the chance to leave sector alive?