"“Bashar Assad’s government has won the war militarily,” said Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Damascus who witnessed the uprising’s earliest days. “And I can’t see any prospect of the Syrian opposition being able to compel him to make dramatic concessions in a peace negotiation.”
The government has yet to fully secure areas around the capital, and fighting continues in various pockets of Syria’s east as well as the northwestern province of Idlib. Yet even Assad’s staunchest international adversaries see the continuation of his rule as a fait accompli and have urged the rebels arrayed against him to do the same.
“The nations who supported us the most … they’re all shifting their position,” said Osama Abu Zaid, an opposition spokesman contacted by phone. “We’re being pressured from all sides to draw up a more realistic vision, to accept Assad staying.”
The key to the Syrian leader’s survival has been his battlefield allies Moscow and Tehran; both have been laser-focused on keeping him in power.
Russia dispatched warplanes and elite Spetsnaz units in 2015 to stop the opposition’s advance, just as a coalition of hard-line Islamist rebels were on the cusp of overrunning key government bastions. Iran poured in materiel as well as manpower, including proxies from as far afield as Afghanistan, to bolster Assad’s exhausted troops." LA Times
Yes, my title is sarcastic and aimed at all those who moaned for years that "war settles nothing," and "no military solution is possible." "War settles nothing?" Those who thought that should have learned a little history before spewing stupidities. The Japanese and Germans could have given them instruction on that as could the very existence of the US which was in battle born. It is particularly sweet to have Robert Ford, a former US ambassador under Obama who IMO did much to enable the unrest that led to this awful war.
There was a "moment" just before the Russian intervention began when it seemed likely that the jihadis of both AQ and IS as well as their "secular" allies would manage to drive the multi-confessional Syrian government into a negotiated surrender. That grim possibility ended with an incredible effective intervention by Russia, Iran and Hizbullah.
Will Assad take advantage of the opportunity for building a better Syria both physically and in governance? One can hope. pl