Print Friendly, PDF & Email

News Analysis |

Syria’s army has broken years-long Islamic State siege on the government enclave of Deir ez-Zor. ISIS has already lost more than half of its nearby bastion of Raqqa to US-backed forces and the loss of Deir ez-Zor city and the surrounding oil-rich province of the same name would leave it with only a handful of isolated outposts.

Read more: Syria must independently defeat terrorism

Reports now indicate that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are closing shop in Syria and Jordan is coming to terms with the Syrian regime. If true, it implies that soon the US too will mend fences with Damascus

Moreover, the Kurdish dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by US air power is making advances of its own to capture the oil and gas fields located to the north of Deir ez-Zor.

SDF has easily overwhelmed ISIS pockets of resistance in this area and is at some points only a few miles away from Syrian regime forces. However, chances of confrontation between Syrian Army and Kurds are rare.

This major development implies for all purposes the end of the conflict in Syria. The rebels have been successfully knocked out by the government forces and are now mostly concentrated in Idlib province, thanks to the evacuation deals between rebels and the government which facilitated the transfer of rebel forces and their families in this large pocket surrounded by government forces. Rebels do control areas around Damascus and Southern Syria but they are no more a credible threat to Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.

Kurds not only checked ISIS advances but also held Turkey at bay. The Turkish push in northern Syria was poised to capture territory in Northern Syria

Besides the government, the Syrian Kurds too have gained territory and have consolidated their control over large parts of Northern Syria. Kurds do not intend to ingress into Sunni Arab heartlands which they can’t control and have focused their attention to clear Kurdish areas from ISIS and Turkish backed FSA fighters.

Read more: Bashar al-Assad has won the Syrian war

Assad, long ago realized that controlling the entire country is no more a probability and hence the formation of Kurdish cantons in northern Syria actually favored Damascus.

Kurds not only checked ISIS advances but also held Turkey at bay. The Turkish push in northern Syria was poised to capture territory in Northern Syria. At one point, even Aleppo was threatened but Kurds backed by the US prevented any such outcome. For Assad, liberal and progressive Kurds are way better than US-Saudi backed rebels and the fanatics of ISIS.

SDF has easily overwhelmed ISIS pockets of resistance in this area and is at some points only a few miles away from Syrian regime forces. However, chances of confrontation between Syrian Army and Kurds are rare

Whether the continued US alliance with the Syria Kurdish militia leads to the eventual consolidation of a Kurdistan in northern Syria is not the point of discussion here. Thanks to the Russian and Iranian support, the tide of war has turned in favor of Syrian regime. Reports now indicate that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are closing shop in Syria and Jordan is coming to terms with the Syrian regime. If true, it implies that soon the US too will mend fences with Damascus.

Comments & Discussion