How and who fought Syria at Palmyra and Aleppo, and how it will be protected in the future

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2017-01-29 12:00:18

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How and who fought Syria at Palmyra and Aleppo, and how it will be protected in the future

Ended 2016, the assault on Aleppo, as the month has become history, held talks in Astana. The parties to the conflict, reordering their strength, preparing for new battles. What to do and what to expect in the near future? To answer these questions we will understand what are the forces and positions of the parties to the conflict.

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the anti-government forces

the Most formidable terrorist group in the region, of course, is ISIS. The armed forces of the so-called "Caliphate" consisting of several tens of thousands of militants (the exact calculation is extremely difficult).

Very effective and even merciless system of selection of personnel, along with the involvement of numerous foreign fighters allowed in this terrorist organization to create a highly mobile and efficient army, warring against the armies of two States (Syria and Iraq). The strengths of this group are: the willingness to incur losses, strict discipline, well-tried tactics of guerrilla warfare. This is compensated by the almost complete lack of heavy weapons.

Also against government troops fighting about 20 different groups of armed "opposition" (different degrees of "moderation"). Today, thanks to recent victories of the government forces their forces are largely weakened.

Over the past year destroyed many of their fortifications, the chief of which was the Aleppo.

Gradually the armed "opposition" is being replaced by government forces in Idlib province, where today they number, according to various estimates, 25-30 thousand people. To conduct active offensive actions, they can't and probably won't be able.

the fact that Turkey agreed with Russia on major issues in the middle East, lured a significant part of the supporters of the "opposition" and organized in the North of Syria the new center forces, which is facing two major challenges: to be a counterweight to the Kurds, which intensified with the US, and the gradual displacement of ISIS to the South from the Turkish-Syrian border.

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Kurds

a year ago, their position seemed unshakable. A temporary rupture between Russia and Turkey on the background of the shot down Turkish fighter jet Russian su-24 in November 2015, with the assistance of U.S. instructors, weapons, ammunition, and air support allowed them by about half to increase the controlled territory and to create a relatively efficient army, some 30-40 thousand people. Technically, the Kurds are allies of the government troops, but only until such time as their interests coincide (and this is only a matter of time).

on the other hand the recent political agreement of Russia and Turkey narrowed for the Kurds space and they gradually became monkeys, carry the chestnuts to their masters the Americans. And what can they do, being almost completely surrounded by enemies and completely dependent on military supplies from the United States.

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Government power

the Syrian government army in the previous five years had suffered huge losses. A large part of its cadre were killed on the battlefields of the civil war.

Some officers and soldiers are fighting on the side of anti-government groups. Almost completely exhausted the stocks of munitions and armaments. If not for the help from Russia, the regime of Bashar al-Assad has either fallen, or had lived their last days, trying to retain his native Latakia.

"As was noted by many members of the expert community, monitoring the situation in Syria, Assad's army by the end of three years of continuous fighting was, to put it mildly, not in the best condition. She was exhausted and demoralized.

Her resistance began to wear focal character.
National groups began to scatter in their enclaves. The militia and the various volunteer units refused to fight outside their agglomerations. Large losses, material and human, has led to the fact that the combat capability of the Syrian Arab army was almost exhausted.

Its commanders had to operate to have no divisions or brigades, and, de facto, a few half combat groups", – commented the permanent member of the "Izborsk club" Vladislav Shurigin.

a Large part of government armed forces today is the local militia, very low combat capability. There are also a regular part, which is based on reservists. The Assad government is only a few fully operational and ready for combat action parts, special forces.

victory in 2016 was won by them.

But, as we know, it is impossible to close all the fronts of these brave, excellent, but small portions. It is precisely the lack of such groups eventually led to bitter defeats, the worst of which was the fall of Palmyra in December 2016, when the militia and reservists, despite the air support could not hold back the advance of ISIS. Often they abandoned their positions, only to find the threat of attack.

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External power

Today, Syria war part of the Lebanese "of Hezbolly". They are experts of this war that was repeatedly demonstrated by them during the battles in Latakia and in Aleppo province.

The number of Hizbollah's about 5-8 thousand soldiers.

Also on the side of Bashar Assad fighting Iranian volunteers. Not having the combat experience as their Lebanese comrades, they nevertheless make a significant contribution to the war, working as shock troops and acting as barriers in strategic areas. The total number of these troops up to about 10 thousand people.

However, the Iranians do not hide that pursue their goals – access to the Mediterranean sea through Lebanon and the subsequent strict control of the Assad regime.

the Third important member of the coalition in the fall of 2015 in Russia. Its leadership understood that the Assad government without a serious humanitarian, economic and military assistance will not last long. The civil war deprived the country of more than half of GDP. In such circumstances, to maintain a tolerable standard of living remaining under control of the population very difficult.

And also needed to provide the belligerent army equipment, ammunition, fuel, food, etc. throughout the conflict, Russia has assisted the government of the country, but by the summer of 2015 was obviously not enough. From September 2015 VC of the Russian Federation entered the war.

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Look in 2017

Russia's Help in the end determined the successful outcome of the company of 2016.

In General, although anti-government forces in Syria and doomed (like Hitler in 1944), but this doom confronts the government and the Russian leadership several important issues.

Syria's tired. Millions of its citizens left the country. Mobilization of new recruits almost impossible.

The supply of arms from Russia, of course, reinforces Assad's government, but experts for its maintenance, sufficiently motivated and trained among the local population less and less. Thus to quickly restore the offensive capabilities of troops impossible.

the Second very important negative aspect is the lack of training by staff of the Syrian army. Many of them until 2016 and last year ended any enemy counterattacks in the vulnerable places attacking forces that nullified the initial gains or disrupted the overall concept of operations and led to much more modest results than planned, based on the number of involved forces and means.

Here keenly felt the necessity of creating a unified and highly professional staff, which would have completely taken over the planning and control over the conduct of all subsequent operations.

Also, in terms of the already visible future collapse of the LIH to the fruits of victory have not got the current partners and future opponents, Assad is necessary to change the tactics of attacks, abandoning breakthrough to narrow wedges. A bitter example of the loss of Palmyra and concerns Aleppo, where the city was tied to one narrow "road of life", evidence of this. The attack is possible only on a broad front, with constant control of the flanks, carefully considered and consistent with all types of troops strategy.

of Domestic resources for this type of attack Assad, as we have seen, no, but because along with the involvement of the staff of foreign specialists will be required and the involvement of ground forces of the allies, at least in the framework of special units.

In General, the prospects on the one hand positive, and on the other and not. After all, as the experience of the Second World war, the storming of Berlin (Raqqa) is just one of the operations of a large geopolitical struggle and not the last.

In the near future experts of the FAN in detail tell our readers the story of the Syrian civil war, explain why the ISIS militants and other banned groups had such an advantage over regular units of the CAA and will give an Outlook on the situation of the near future.

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