Syrian-Russian Alliance Mops Up Moderate Rebels Near Israel Border

A lot of the pieces that I see in the Russian online press are “paraphrase/translations” from other international sources, into Russian, for the benefit of the Russian-language readers who don’t have access to the originals, or can’t read the original languages.

Here, for example, is something I saw yesterday, which is basically a re-telling of this story from the Financial Times, posted by Erika Solomon and John Reed.  Unfortunately, the FT won’t let me read their story without paying/subscribing.  Which I refuse to do.

So, instead, I am put in the ridiculous position of translating/paraphrasing back into English from Russian.  The usual caveats and disclaimers apply.  So, here goes:

Successes of Syrian Ground Forces

With Russian air support, Syrian army is starting to win back the whole south of the country which they had previously lost to the rebels.  Financial Times is worried that this will not only weaken one of the last remaining outposts of the rebels, but also shake up the balance of power on the border with Israel.

The successes of the Syrian forces surprised both the rebels themselves, and their American sponsors.  Who had been counting on Moscow’s “timidity”, calculating that the Russians would not venture so close to the Israeli border.

According to the Financial Times:  “The rebels from the Southern Front Alliance say that they were astonished to find themselves the target of this new campaign.  Given that their forces are under the command and control of the (Saudi) Arabs and Western military forces, including the USA.”

Moderate Rebels saw Hezbollah coming for them.

Hezbollah Marches On.

Feeling safe in their enclave, it was an unpleasant surprise for the Moderate Rebels, when, under Russian air cover, they saw Syrian army troops, along with Hezbollah, just strolling up to the Golan Heights like they owned the place.  The rebels wonder curiously and perhaps hopefully if this will spark a conflict between the Syrian forces and Israel, since it is Israel which currently controls the Heights.

The Syrian army appears to be focused on re-taking the strategic town of Al-Shaykh Maskin, which is currently half under the control of the Moderate Rebels (=FSA).  If and when the Syrian army fully re-take Al-Shaykh Maskin, then they will have returned control to the central government over all of the southern part of the country.  And this victory will give President Bashar al-Assad a strong hand at the negotiating table.

But What About the Israelis?

The circled area is the strategic town of Al-Shaykh Maskin

So, the card game is going well, but the joker in this deck is Israel.  Financial Times wonders curiously:  “Both Israel and Russia have an interest in avoiding conflict.  And many analysts suspect that Moscow and Tel-Aviv have come to an agreement behind the scenes.”

FT also speculates that Jordan has an interest in the success of the Russian-Syrian operation.

End of the FT paraphrase.  But collating all of this material, also taking into account traditional Russian cautiousness, one can conclude with a fair degree of confidence the following:  That Russian diplomacy behind the scenes has secured the tacit – I won’t say agreement – but maybe passive support of both Israel and Jordan, who at the least will modestly cover their eyes and pretend  not to notice, when Syrian troops make mincemeat of the Moderate Rebels who used to rule this three-way border area.


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7 Responses to Syrian-Russian Alliance Mops Up Moderate Rebels Near Israel Border

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    Oh noes! But yalensis, don’t you know? Russia is in QUAGMIRE!The Syrian Army is (again/still) on the verge of defeat and soon Putin will have to send the dreaded Boots on the Ground which will result in Many Deaths ™.

    Why, the wise pundits told us so!

    “According to The Economist: “If America’s Syria-watchers agree on anything it is that the Russian campaign, which has enabled Mr Assad’s forces to make only minor gains, will fail, and thereby encourage Russia to give up on its proxy. That would be a huge boost to the UN-backed peace talks John Kerry, the secretary of state, is brokering, with the aim of replacing Mr Assad with a transitional government early next year.””

    I wonder – how can they manage to live in such colourful fantasy world without starting every morning with a huge dose of crack?


    • yalensis says:

      O man, you’re right, Lyttenburgh! For a minute there I forgot the Main Rule, and its Corollary, namely:

      -Whenever America is LOSING a war, it’s because of those damned hippy pacifists.
      -Whenever Russia is WINNING a war, then one is duty-bound to become a damned hippy pacifist.

      So, let’s all grow out our hair and beards, link arms and start singing, “Give peace a chance!” This unjust (and somewhat successful) war against Saudi-sponsored terrorism must end NOW!!!!!


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