In the hot hall of the Syrian desert, in the southeastern part of the country, countdown began. Islamic militaries of ISIS, flocked on all sides, crowd around the Euphrates, along the sites surrounding Deir Ezzor, a heroic Syrian city besieged by 50 months. The Syrian army, assisted by Russian air forces and its allies on the ground, now pushes east by two distinct axes:
- from the north, where Assad's troops besiege ISIS at Maadan, the last true stronghold between Raqqa and Deir Ezzor, a few dozen miles away;
- from the west, where Syrian troops have recently freed and secured Al Sukhna, the last city on the 20 highway before the Euphrates.
Whole columns of ISIS militias are in these hours being moved from the front of Hama, where they are engaged by the great Syrian offensive aimed at liberating the center of the country from what remains of the Caliphate, to be transferred to Deir Ezzor, where he is expected to I come to the mother of all the battles. The Syrian garrison in the city, commanded by the paratroopers Issam Zahreddine (photo), and refueled only by air, continues to reject the assaults of the jihadists around the city (only the western side of the Euphrates is in Syrian hands) and wait the long-awaited arrival of the troops to break the siege.
It is worth pointing out that General Zahreddine, despite legendary fame in his multiannual battle against Islamist terrorism, has been in the blacklist of the European Union for alleged crimes against humanity committed in 2012 for a few days at the beginning of war.
Despite diplomacy continuing to weave the necks of the near future of Syria, the word is for now weapons. Military sources argue that ISIS militias are still able to withstand and inflict heavy damage to Damascus's armed forces, but are now condemned to the final defeat in the coming months. The great intelligence, operative ability and the high level of strategic management of the war by the military commands of the Islamic State are highlighted in this regard, which again puts us in front of the embarrassing question about who and how it has helped and continues to help terrorists.
As we write, unconfirmed sources speak of early attempts to evacuate ISIS militaries from Maadan's city to converge to Deir Ezzor, where it seems that the Caliphate terrorists have started burning oil terminals no longer under safe control.
On the same front the push of Euphrates Wrath, the operation of the Syrian Democratic Forces launched in the 2016 and aimed at fighting ISIS from north to south seems to have come to a critical point. Substantially liberated Raqqa, a former self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State, US-backed forces no longer seem to go south.
Despite territorial progress, the problem seems more political than military. Now that the Kurdish Arab militias and special US forces have contributed in a structural way to fighting the Caliphate, Washington's strategic knot seems to have come to the comb: Assad is winning the war by regaining thousands of square miles; what to do with Syrian territorial integrity?
On these pages we have dealt with the topic many times in recent months, posing the question of the true Western (American) strategic objective, between Clinton-Obama's doctrine and a new yet unclear and experimented model. Answering for now are still weapons.
Behind the border between Syria and Jordan, the faithful forces in Assad continue to advance by taking control of tens of miles of frontier. Hundreds of Free Syrian Army militiamen, armed and trained until yesterday by the US, would have been forced to repair Jordanian territory. Also reported (AMN sources) some US artillery and raid shots against Sayyd Martyrs, part of Iraqi Shiite Shiite militias (PMU) engaged in ISIS in the Syrian-Iraqi border area of Al Tanf. If ever needed, this episode (denied by the Pentagon) would be emblematic of the great risk that anyone in the West has fomented the Assad revolt since 2011: the collapse of the Islamic State could turn into a catastrophic strategic defeat for the Sunnis. The extent to which Israel will take part will depend entirely on the argument that Tel Aviv will be able to put Iran and its future allied Shi'ite winners in the war.
(photo: SANA / web)