The emergence of a competent syrian Army


This combat footage of Syrian armor and infantry fighting as a team in East Aleppo is impressive.  I know what this is supposed to look like and this is the real deal.

The two groups are closely  coordinated as one team and move forward using each other's capabilities as reinforcing combat power.

What has happened in the cauldron of the civil war is that a new force has appeared in the Levant.  A new Syrian Arab Army now exists thanks to Russian training, equipment and advice.  At the same time the old truism, "whatever does not kill you makes you stronger" applies.

The after action effects of combat stress toward the end of the film is in many ways the most impressive thing.  I have seen brave men weep and tremble in exactly the same way coming out of a hard fight.  pl

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92 Responses to The emergence of a competent syrian Army

  1. Former 11B says:

    Yep. Good fire control. Nice moves into mutually supporting positions. Syria comes out of this way stronger and nobody’s bitch. Foggy Bottom did not get its promised warm fuzzies. Look for some gnashing of teeth and screeching of harpies, then a nice time out for the borgatude.

  2. I’m impressed by the lightness of the soldiers’ loads. They rely on speed, maneuver and available cover rather than body armor and helmets. Could our infantry ever go back to not having that kind of personal protection?

  3. Serge says:

    On the other side of the coin we have the performance of the Iraqi army to compare to.Some refreshingly lucid reporting of the nightmare that the Mosul op is fast becoming

    “When we started, we were talking weeks,” said Hussein. “Now, we hope it will be by early in the new year. But these guys are not cowards. They kill as easy as they breathe.”
    Some however concede that they could still be fighting in Mosul’s tunnels and alleyways as late as next summer.
    Two senior officers stood nearby, in immaculately pressed uniforms. “Don’t take too many pictures of the damage,” one of them asked. “We would prefer people didn’t see that.”

  4. Kooshy says:

    Colonel, yes nothing like it in entire Arab world, never was. My guess is Russia and Iran will make the new SAA plus Hizbollah and the Iraqi Hasheds to a regional strategic defense force. A Western Asiaan defense force.

  5. Jack says:

    Is it a civil war in Syria or an armed invasion of Syria by jihadists financed, armed and supported by US, EU, Turkey, Saudi and Qatar?

  6. visitor says:

    “Syria comes out of this way stronger”
    Sure, the surviving force will be incredibly battle-hardened, experienced, proficient with its weaponry, and knowledgeable about many kinds of fighting in various conditions (urban, rural, desert; with and without armour; with and without air support; mobile war and drawn-out sieges).
    However, Syria will not come out stronger, I am afraid, but instead exhausted, economically devastated, socially ripped apart, and militarily bled white — excluding Lebanese, Iranians and Russians, Syrian government forces and associated militias already count between 100000 and 150000 fatalities.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Nah! Countries re-build quickly. I lived in a badly destroyed West Germany 1947-49. Look at the place now. pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    Call it what you like. how about the War of Stupid Aggression? pl

  9. Booby says:

    For TTG
    We definitely need to do something to lighten the soldier’s load. I know a young Marine who just got out because of the soldier’s load. He was an 81mm mortar man. Who knows what the loads for the base plate men were. My friend did combat tours in Iraq & Afganistan. Loved the Corps. Was a Sgt, squad leader; but, was told that his spine was compressing & deteriorating because of the load.
    My battalion in VN were true light infantry. When in the mountains we patrolled in soft covers without body armor. We could move fast & maneuver. I remember one battalion heloed in to replace us was loaded so heavily that they could barely walk off of the helos. No way that they could hump the hills. When in places like Con Tien with artillery, rocket & mortar fire, we’d wear helmets & flak jackets.
    My experience is if you overload the infantry in combat they will simply discard what they don’t consider combat essential. What they carry by their choice is not going to be the published prescribed load. Marines will carry lots of Ammo & plenty of water. I always thought that the studies conducted to determine the soldiers combat load should be done in combat. The soldiers will let you know what is essential.

  10. visitor says:

    Who will provide the equivalent of a Marshall plan and of a London agreement to Syria when the war is over?

  11. Daniel Nicolas says:

    Perhaps just a pipedream, but I would love for USA to realign from Saudi to Syria over the next few years. Attitudes about Israel and Iran probably won’t change, but I think we should step forward in doing what we can to encourage the rebuilding and investment into Syria. Our government directly and indirectly spent the last near decade funding and supplying the terrorist groups in the area. The right thing to do would admit that misguided and incorrect actions of the past governments, and then actively work with Syria and Russia to destroy the terrorists so the Syrian people can return home and rebuild their country.

  12. Degringolade says:

    I think the real question is, would they (the Syrians) wear the armor if they had access to it?
    Armor is a great thing if the most important part is getting back in one piece. If the main goal is winning, then troops start making more complex decisions about protection vs maneuverability and stamina.
    Our troops, in another country, at the end a long supply line, and with a non-warzone homeland, would argue vehemently for armor. I would support them wholeheartedly in this decision.
    The Syrians, fighting in their war-torn homeland, would have a different set of basic assumptions to address. I would venture a guess that these guys are going for the win.

  13. turcopolier says:

    Russia and China. pl

  14. Outrage Beyond says:

    SAA the new toughest guys in the region? I’ll agree when they take back the Golan Heights.

  15. Brunswick says:


  16. turcopolier says:

    Outrage Beyond
    They won’t have too after Hizbullah’s rocket and missile troops reduce the northern half of Israel to rubble. pl

  17. turcopolier says:

    I am curious about the officer(?)who casually strolls out into the street, seemingly unarmed with handset (?) in hand. pl

  18. At one time, Marine platoon commanders were armed with pistols rather than rifles. The theory was that they were supposed to concentrate on leading the platoon rather than shooting at the enemy. I have no idea how that worked out in practice. Maybe one of our Jarheads can enlighten us. Perhaps this SAA soldier is operating under the same theory armed with nothing but his handset and a pair of brass balls. Or he could be a crew member of the tank he appears to be guiding.

  19. Bandit says:

    Thank you for bringing a human face into the light. It was quite moving to see the soldiers praying and crying after the assault. All the bullshit and fake propaganda of the MSM and the White Helmets cannot hold a candle to the reliable ongoing information and insights I get from this sight. This has been my go-to site for more detailed information about the war and the different players. This help greatly in forming a better picture of the actions taken and the resulting consequences. Thanks again.

  20. Anna says:

    “…I would love for USA to realign from Saudi to Syria…” Just imagine a deafening squealing of Israel-firsters in response to this sane idea.

  21. Anna says:

    Russians are finally speaking about the US-supported “moderate jihadis:”

  22. Anna says:

    It seems that, similar to Israel, the US prefers ISIS to a sovereign state of Syria: “Congress has banned military cooperation between the U.S. and Russia:” “The house of representatives of the United States Congress approved Friday, December 2 project the defense budget for 2017, which, in particular, imposes a ban on military cooperation with Russia. The document was supported by 375 congressmen voted against 34.”

  23. FB Ali says:

    Yes, that is a handset he has in his hand. The person behind him is the operator carrying the field radio to which the handset is connected.
    Presumably he is the officer commanding the troops who are doing the fighting – and the advancing. As professional as they are.

  24. kooshy says:

    Colonel, he could be the officer who calls in for air support

  25. Lemur says:

    The Russians must be learning alot too, especially when it comes to air support and long range deployment.

  26. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    A real display of sang froid. pl

  27. Peter AU says:

    pl, tiger forces (I take it they are a Syrian special forces unit) have taken ground wherever they were placed from early on. The Desert Hawks, a mercenary force, similar though not well publicised perhaps because of their penchant for taking hairy heads after a successfully jihadi hunting expedition.
    The Russian input seems to be in the improvement of the regular army, but the major input is in reconciliation. At the start of Russia’s entry into Syria, gains by the Syrian army seemed to be occupying hostile ground. Russia’s actions to date have brought out the true colours of the jihadi’s so that now the civilian population feel that they are being liberated when the Syrian army (what can now be termed liberation) liberates the area.
    What is happening in Syria is similar to what Putin done in Chechnya. Putin backed the traditional Chechen’s against the wahhabi wannabes. Understanding and respecting tradition Chechen Islam? and holding to his word? Putin now has intense loyalty from Kadrov junior.
    I think a very similar operation is underway in Syria. Putin’s Russia is putting Syria back together. A Syria that will be immune to Saudi/US backed jihadi’s

  28. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    For me, a theroretical person with little formal military training and lacking deeper knowledge about middle eatern land armies the mixture of uniforms, the numerous US pattern woodland camo clothings came quite as a surprise as well as the machine gunner’s kevlar helmet and suppressing fire from the hip.
    Please also take note of the rare Kalashnikov variant which is shown in the still at the beginning of the video and also at 0:43-0:45. Still trying to figure out its exact type.

  29. johnf says:

    I think India’s also said it will do something.

  30. visitor says:

    Russia does not have the economic strength necessary to rebuild Syria — while simultaneously dealing with its own internal economic imbalances.
    China does have massive financial reserves, economic diversity (basically China can provide almost everything in terms of infrastructure and consumer goods), and capacity (actually, the country suffers from overcapacity).
    But why would China do it? What is in it for China? Not hydrocarbons — whatever fields are in Syria, whatever pipelines cross the country, they are directed towards Europe. As a link in the much-touted “New Silk Road”? All proposed paths for this project avoid Syria.
    I am afraid Syrians will live in ruins for a long time.

  31. g_m says:

    Suspect it could be Col al-Hassan (the Tiger). He wears his cap in a unique way, pulled forward.

  32. g_m says:

    Hassan packs a side-arm in a leg holster. I think it’s visible around 0:20.

  33. alba etie says:

    Outrage Beyond
    A bigger concern for the IDF then the Golan Heights may be the next time the Likudniks decide to mount another Operation Cast Lead and the R +6 armed and trained militias are waiting just over that next rise..

  34. alba etie says:

    Col Lang
    Could India also have a hand in rebuilding Syria ?

  35. El Sid says:

    Too true.
    I may be a lefty and pacifist, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support the poor squadies having to do a dirty job.
    And appreciate it when they do professional work.
    Good news all round I’d say.

  36. kooshy says:

    “Russia, China block UNSC resolution on Aleppo truce”

  37. Gabriel says:

    SST members
    On the subject of a new force in the Levant, see also this report ( about the new graduating class of second lieutenants (or its equivalent rank in the Syrian Army).
    What I find interesting is the sheer size of the graduating class, which is “4000+”, with a second one coming in April of next year. For comparison, this year the entire US Army commissioned 4,223 second lieutenants from all sources , if I’m reading this correctly. (Current class of West Point is a little over 1,000.)
    Now obviously casualty rates among junior officers tend to be among the highest (certainly in the kind of fighting taking place in Syria), but even factoring “attrition” such a large increase in the number of junior officers suggests to me that either the regular SAA (which now has maybe 80,000 troops in total, although this number is endlessly murky) will expand the number of its mobile combined-armed units (rather than soldiers sequestered in barracks or manning checkpoints) and/or that better-trained “cadres” will be supplied to the various militia forces around the country, possibly folding the better units into the regular army.
    (Of course US comparison possibly misleading if SAA is like Russian and many Latin American armies in that officers perform many functions that in US are the responsibility of senior enlisted personnel, making the ratio of soldiers to officers generally lower, but, again, sheer size of these graduating classes still strikes me as indicating some kind of major rebuilding of the force.)
    This is obviously a *very* rough guess by someone with only the most casual knowledge of the subject, but recent institutional information on the SAA is rare enough that I thought it might be useful to post the above. (And I’d of course be delighted if anyone is willing to improve on my, again, very rough interpretation of what it might mean.)

  38. LeaNder says:

    Concerning your last paragraph, is that the point of arming the rebels?
    What’s your personal perspective on matters?

  39. turcopolier says:

    You appear to be like one of my many adversaries over the decades who insisted that intelligence analysis consists of drawing up something like a business balance sheet and then excluding any possibilities that don’t fit the numbers. China has goals that are not about resource exploitation. Russia has goals that are not restricted by the budgetary weakness caused by sanctions. Syria possesses hydrocarbon assets that are not on a scale like those of Saudi Arabia but are considerable. They have been fighting over these oil and gas fields for several years now. I suppose that I have an advantage in having known several men who became very rich handling the downstream distribution of those hydrocarbons. pl

  40. DonG says:

    Speaking of stress, did you see this story Colonel?:
    VMI, Famed Military Academy, Giving Cadets Coloring Books for Stress

  41. turcopolier says:

    VMI is not a private school. It is a state college. When I was a cadet the idea was to increase stress on freshmen (rats) not to reduce it so this is new to me. pl

  42. LG says:

    India has signed several deals but were on hold due to the security situation.
    India has been largely supportive of Syria through BRICS and I think there is cooperation in counter terrorism.
    I read somewhere that the total cost of the war is 200 billion.

  43. kooshy says:

    Colonel FYI, apparently at the end of the President obama can’t let go of his favorite terrorists in Aleppo.
    “Just as the US and Russia were preparing to discuss a solution for Aleppo, which was to involve free passage for all rebels from the part of the city still under their control, Washington abruptly withdrew its own proposal, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.”

  44. LeaNder says:

    Heaving on a huge, scorched metal door and covered in engine oil, Sgt Hussein Mahmoud was deep into a morning’s work. Twisted hulks of wrecked army vehicles sat incongruously in the coarse dust that was kicked up by still-moving trucks as they crept around Mosul’s urban fringe.
    Serge, that’s one of the possible headers in a news article I am familiar with. The standard is the inverted pyramid. I am too lazy to look into either German or English theories and for that matter how they changed over the decades, centuries …
    But I sure wish I would love to have a phone line to chat with Karl Kraus, better then the Ouija board Ledeen used to contact Angleton. Ideally he also followed developments since he died:

  45. visitor says:

    Somebody showing some grounded scepticism about a fast recovery of Syria deserves to be categorized as an adversary?
    Well then. The reconstructions costs were estimated at 80bn in 2013, 140bn in 2014, and now reach 350bn. And the war is not over. That begins to be serious money for Russia and even for China to spend on one country to achieve those unspecified paramount goals.
    Regarding hydrocarbon assets: I duly mentioned them. However
    1) the Syrian infrastructure has been seriously damaged — bombed to prevent Daesh from exploiting those oil fields it controls;
    2) worldwide, oil firms have been slashing investments;
    3) the world has been mired in a hydrocarbon glut with deeply depressed prices for some time now.
    Finally, in a historical context, quite a number of countries have been devastated by war in the past 20 years — from the Balkans to Africa, from the Near East to Central Asia. Effective reconstruction has been surprisingly limited, the only obvious major exception being Lebanon (Hariri had the backing of Saudi Arabia).
    Oh, I forgot: quite a number of countries, including Gulf states, the EU and the USA imposed sanctions on Syria. Makes things technically arduous.
    Back to the original remark: I seriously doubt that Syria will have a chance to come stronger out of this ordeal.

  46. Peter Reichard says:

    The Syrian state is shattered and over the short term needs to focus inward and rebuild but born of the immanent victory will come such intangibles as military tradition, esprit de corps, professionalism and pride in having served which will attract the best of the young to the new Syrian Army where they will be led by platoon sergeants who were today’s privates, by battalion commanders and division staff officers who were today’s junior officers and so on up the line. The Syrian Army five to ten years down the road may well be a formidable force to reckon with especially if reequipped with top of the line Russian hardware.

  47. Bill H says:

    This update was added to the article at 9:30am:
    “VMI once took America’s youth and prepared them for duty and the harsh realities of war,” a VMI alumnus and veteran told the Washington Free Beacon. “Now, for $20k a year, VMI will turn your teenagers back into children.”

  48. Joe100 says:

    TTG –
    During my time with a Marine infantry company in 1969, all of the platoon commanders carried rifles (as did I as FO) and used them, but as I recall the company commander just carried a 45.
    As the platoons in the bush were pretty small (as I recall about 18-20 Marines. much smaller that a platoon “on paper”), I think the platoon commanders pretty regularly used their rifles. I think Col. Lang has previously published Jim Webb’s Navy Cross citation which makes it clear that leading his platoon involved deep involvement in the fight.

  49. Lemur says:

    Syria is part of the Chinese silk road plan long term. All roads lead to Damascus.
    Russia may not have to rebuild Syria pro-bono…oil money and so on

  50. Lemur says:

    Assad was doing reconciliation before the Russians arrived. The additional firepower meant the more diffident rebels became motivated to make up.

  51. Lemur says:

    Southfront are proposing Kerry’s flurry of activity is an attempt to extricate US operatives before they’re caught and paraded before the world as evidence of Uncle Sam conniving with Al Qaeda.

  52. turcopolier says:

    I have forwarded the link to the article to the superintendent of VMI (my classmate) asking him if this is true. BTW, for out of state cadets the cost/year is over 40K. pl

  53. AnR says:

    In regards to the video, is anyone familiar with or have a guess as to the rifle modification or rifle type seen used at the 0.44 mark? Barrel Shroud?

  54. GulfCoastPirate says:

    turcopolier wrote: ‘They won’t have too after Hizbullah’s rocket and missile troops reduce the northern half of Israel to rubble.’
    Do you really think this is possible at this point in time? Doesn’t this mean the Israelis will eventually be forced to accept some kind of peace treaty?

  55. Harry says:

    Depends what you mean. The syrian military will have been involved in an enormous live fire exercise. So have Hezbollah. Their future army might be smaller but it will be battle hardened and have access to significantly better air defense.
    As for the economy, well maybe you are right. But I wouldn’t discount china’s desire to diversify it’s energy sources. Most of its existing sources will cease selling to them if the Americans were to request it.

  56. DH says:

    Even in 2006 I thought Hezbollah would eviscerate the IDF in a ground fight.

  57. F-35 says:

    China, Russia, Iran. Gulf Arabs will be on a hook for $200B or more in reparations. Syria will be leaner and meaner country. In 10 years or less Syrian Army will be laying waste to the cities of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE. Payback is coming.

  58. gemini33 says:

    I was very surprised that most of them weren’t wearing helmets. Since they are the elite forces of the SAA, I assume this is by choice?
    Maybe not. The head of this combat engineer unit says he started the war with 200 engineers and now he’s down to 16. This is a really good video, imho, of the unit finding stocks of chemicals and rockets (that made my chemist fiance cringe, they’re so dangerous) in a gdamn school the rebels used as a base in E Aleppo. I’ve been watching this gutsy young journalist, Lizzie Phelan, as she reports from the war zone in recent months.

  59. Thirdeye says:

    The USA is joined at the hip with the gulfies by the Petrodollar trade arrangements. US ability to conduct policy in a rational manner (like acting against the underpinnings of terrorism in the Islamic world) will be severely hobbled until that changes.

  60. Thirdeye says:

    The rate of collapse in Aleppo seems to be making it moot. The Jihadis’ entire eastern perimeter is gone.

  61. Thirdeye says:

    Hadn’t thought about it, but it makes sense that India would have an interest in strengthening the Iran-Lebanon arc to keep Pakistan from getting any funny ideas.

  62. Cortes says:

    A recent article on the situation in Aleppo (seems like remaining headchoppers are less than desperate to pick up the celestial virgins):

  63. turcopolier says:

    GCP Hizbullah is an independent Lebanese Shia force with a huge pre-positioned cache of missiles and artillery rockets in dug in bunkers. In front of these is a fortified belt of Hizbullah infantry complete with tank kill boxes armed with anti-tank missiles and minefields, This screen has reinforced concrete fighting positions with telephone commo in buried armored cable. The troops have body armor, gas masks and night vision equipment. What part of this don’t you understand? The IDF has tried to for years to solve the riddle of how to disable all that firepower. They have never been able to figure out how to do it before Hizbullah salvos into Israel. Should this lead to peace? Yes, but it won’t because the Israelis persist in seeing the Arab goyim as people to be dominated. pl

  64. Cee says:

    They’re trying to negotiate through Turkey to be rescued. Orders were given and followed to kill anyone – civilians who tried to cross the border into Turkey so Hell No. Jail or the grave.

  65. turcopolier says:

    Thirdeye et al
    I had not thought enough. India is likely to be a source of capital for re-construction. Maybe they could make Farid Zakariyah head of their Aleppo office. anybody here been to downtown Beirut lately? pl

  66. turcopolier says:

    I would rather kill them. pl

  67. Prem says:

    Leith Fadel is reporting that all of the Old City has now been liberated.

  68. turcopolier says:

    Al Hamdu Lillah! or Deus lo vault! pl

  69. LG says:

    Sir, you are behind the times. That oily character’s father used to be a bigwig in the Congress party. We have a new dispensation now.

  70. charly says:

    80% is wages and 10% is land. Russia & China don’t need to pay for those. It is still an ungodly number but it is a lot less than it seems.

  71. FND says:

    TTG, I like most of what you report and your analysis and highly value your obvious experience and expertise. But in the video, I still see the typical middle east soldier macho driven stupidity of jumping out into the middle of a street and firing wildly, many times from the hip, (literally) or in any case, not even aiming. And so base on just this video, I have to conclude that while they may be more effective man-for-man than the terrorists, they are still not very well trained. I realize this is just one particular video however.

  72. turcopolier says:

    If the man wants to kill himself, that is one fool less. The rest look a lot better and quite effective. Look what they have done in the last week!. pl

  73. Chris Chuba says:

    “Finally, in a historical context, quite a number of countries have been devastated by war in the past 20 years — from the Balkans to Africa, from the Near East to Central Asia. Effective reconstruction has been surprisingly limited, the only obvious major exception being Lebanon” – Visitor
    The success of rebuilding seems to track how strong of a national identity those countries had more than anything else. If by central Asian you mean Afghanistan, we have poured hundreds of billions of $ and it is a highly fragmented country, as are the Balkans and many parts of Africa. Syria used to have a strong national identity and I suspect that it will emerge as one again, especially after purging many of their worst elements.
    On a separate topic, in 6 mo’s or so, it might be amusing (at least to me) to compile a list of predictions about Syria that ended up being wrong.

  74. FND,
    The first time I saw someone stick his rifle over the wall and let fly with a full magazine was in a news report about the Marine defense of Hue. Yeah, it’s crazy shit, but it happens. I’ve see such things many times after that. That crazy SAA bastard who jumped out in the middle of the street, hosing down the area with his PKM from the hip was at least dancing around so a sniper couldn’t draw an easy bead on him. Yeah, he was crazy too, but sometimes the heat of battle can make you full of bat shit crazy, death defying courage. Think of it as an extreme version of FIDO.

  75. Henshaw says:

    Consider the possibility that he may have been playing up for the camera. To my inexperienced eye, the rest look like an efficient, well drilled team.

  76. Anna says:

    “Al-Qaeda commanders negotiating surrender in Aleppo, Jihadi stronghold collapsing,” by Alexander Mercouris:

  77. LeaNder says:

    This is tremendously good work.
    The Jihadis’ entire eastern perimeter is gone.
    approaching along the line the Colonel suggested.
    But I cannot find matters related to the news item to the American flag. Did they simply get matters wrong concerning a Russian Colonel, who died and somewhat doubled it. Yes, the by now related source seems to suggest that. At least at this point in time.

  78. FND says:

    Yes. Results matter.

  79. kooshy says:

    very interesting video newly captured Aleppo old district.

  80. Cee says:

    Col. Lang,
    Yes sir. Fertilizer is needed to regrow Syria.

  81. Pat Lang,
    The Citadel is 38K for out of state cadets. My fourth class year cost $1400 including uniforms, which my grandparents were able to afford in 1958. A number like that (38K) puts the school out of the range for the general sort of families who sent their boys to school there. The same is true for public colleges and universities throughout the land.

  82. Cee says:

    I was also reading this AM that negotiations are being conducted to save operatives from the UK, Israel, SA. Ah, no. Fertilizer.

  83. LeaNder says:

    TTG, I recall your comments on whatever surfaced from Libya in this context. It reduced on my mind to guys slightly too exited to have a gun in their hands without the necessary training.
    Recently I stumbled across a video on youtube, to the extend I recall, seemingly by someone wondering about waste. Lots of munitions around, maybe coupled with some type of ad-hoc training by shooting without perceivable enemies on the other side?

  84. LeaNder says:

    Ok, better link, didn’t pay attention:
    Sorry, strictly I should look more seriously into computer troubles, among other things. … Windows API interface struggling once again?
    Bye, bye for a while. I’ll relieve the SST community, you, in other words, of babbling me for a while.

  85. turcopolier says:

    William Fitzerald
    My 4th class Year at VMI cost $1500 in 1958. In state cadets pay much less that the 38K I mentioned before. A lot of these guys are on ROTC scholarships. pl

  86. different clue says:

    Daniel Nicolas,
    It would probably require a new political party running people on that concept among others, and getting enough such people elected to begin forcing the deciders in that direction; to make that happen.

  87. different clue says:

    A much elevated reputation and prestige level for China is one thing the Chinagov might feel is gained. Consolidating a real permanent defeat for Islamist jihadism of the sort China feels threatened by in Chinese Turkestan might be another.
    And China could pay Russia to do some of the rebuilding that Syria would want done. That would be a money-earning economy-strengthener for Russia.
    And the rebuilt Syria could be built with near-zero cultural or political space for the jihadis and sympathisers to operate. Those Syrian refugees suspected of being pro-jihadi or pro-Brotherhood, either politically or even just culturally and sentimentally; might find themselves subject to Extreme Vetting before being permitted back over a border which I suspect will eventually be a very heavily electrified razor wire fence with poison tipped barbs.

  88. D says:

    I see replies to your doubts echo my own, concerning National Identity and the real cost. Your estimate is based on dollars, which is based on high GDP from high rent, high tax overheads., low productivity. The estimate is useless for Syria. Its like putting value on Palmyra’s antiquities. Syria is low GDP (low overheads). and makes coast of wages and ease of rebuilding workable… especially when no one has to fund it either.
    Syria can create its own money for wages – it is not in the World Central Bank scheme of things; Money for rebuilding will flow with that same purpose at the head, and that means homes through to community facilities, national infrastructure. It wont flow into bankers hands. It will be used to buy bread from farmers and building blocks from foundries and mines. Faring is diverse and man folk are involved in farming – its in the people’s hands, it won’t need special stimulation. In question remains imports of steel and suchlike, and also machinery, which is where aid will be useful for sustained quick recovery. Syria’s infrastructure haas been repeatedly bombed, and heavy machinery stolen away to Turkey. Syria remains under a trade embargo with the West. Unless that is reversed under Trump, the West won’t get a look in. Which is a shame, if only because I used to enjoy the best sesame oil in the world, from Syria.
    Syrians loyal to the Assad presidential leadership in government, remain resident in London and American cities, ready to commence trade. I imagine a softening of trade sanctions will take place for them; however that won’t support rebuilding in any key way. or major way. It may help cultural, to bring Syria directly in cultural exchange with citizens of the West.
    My statement above now makes rebuilding sound more like hard work than hard money. That is what it is. Bear in mind the war has been hard work, even down to agricultural level, and yet Syria has kept going, in testament to its National strength in practice.

  89. D says:

    Consider the possibility, that he was drawing fire, whilst assault crews out of camera view positioned themselves. The SAA are moving in fast, and keeping the momentum.
    Moreover, he doesn’t have to hit them, because many are fleeing their positions when attacked, and the Syrians take that into account.

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