The fighting in the East Ghouta is quickly winding down. Much of the success is due to the SAA’s employment of overwhelming forces in the area, aggressive fire and maneuver of combined arms teams and a judicious use of air and artillery fire support. All this guided by a heavy use of UAVs. However, much of the success of this operation is due to the work of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria. Rather than having to fight for every street corner and apartment block, thousands of the jihadis were induced to being bussed to Idlib with only their small arms and no ammunition. Heavy weapons were handed over to the SAA. Thousands of Syrian civilians and prisoners held by the jihadists were freed. In my opinion, this was a far better outcome than the devastation that occurred in Raqqa and Mosul.
What’s next? I would think that the Daesh jihadis holding Yarmouk and Qadam would be the next focus after the last district of East Ghouta is secured. Longer term, it appears the SAA is setting its sights on the Dara’a region. Al Masdar News reports today that the SAA and Russians “have sent an official military delegation to the rebel-held areas of Dara’a to begin reconciliation talks”
“According to the military source, the delegation has offered terms of reconciliation to the rebels in Dara’a, which include the surrender of all heavy arms to the government. In addition to surrendering their heavy arms, the rebels will also have to agree to reopen roads in order to promote commerce and trade between all towns in the Dara’a Governorate.
In exchange for reconciliation, the rebels will be allowed to control the towns they are already present in, while also receiving aid from the government. The rebels will also be offered the opportunity to settle their cases with the Syrian government.
The delegation has warned the rebels in Dara’a that the failure of these reconciliation talks will result in a Syrian military operation.”
This is getting very close to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. We can expect a dramatic rise in the anti-Damascus and anti-Iranian propaganda as well as a rise in Israeli military support to their jihadist allies in the region. That’s a given. The real question is how Trump and his new NSA and SecState will react. ’Tis a puzzlement.