The number of Iranian troops in Syria is more than 70,000 and some estimate that it’s over 140,000. These troops are made up of Iranian forces and of militias which Iran brought from across the region and it’s been paying their costs. They have been fighting for several months to control Aleppo and they’re finally about to achieve this aim by destroying the steadfast city’s east and they are advancing, thanks to Russian shelling which targets civilians. The Assad regime’s air force has been tasked with using chemical weapons and chlorine gas to empty areas before advancing and occupying them. I am not denying the possibility of Aleppo’s fall or the impossibility of expelling ISIS from Raqqah but my aim is to clarify reality and facts against all this propaganda in Syria as the war there is deeper and much more complicated.
Even if the Iranians and the Assad troops seize eastern Aleppo, Syria will not stabilize and the regime, which has been fighting for five years now, will not settle because it would still need years to impose its existence and this is quite doubted. This makes us wonder about the point of the practices of Assad’s allies, i.e. Iran and Russia. Do they intend to continue supporting the regime on the ground for years in this same momentum and with all these losses just to keep the regime in power? Do they prefer to resume war for more years over achieving a political solution in which all parties make concessions and a hybrid regime, of the old regime and of the opposition but without the regime’s current command, is formed?
For instance, if Iran and Russia seize eastern Aleppo, which is destroyed as a result of the mad shelling that has emptied it of most of its residents, what do they plan to do later? Do they intend to spend 2017 fighting to seize the rest of Syria’s towns, including Damascus’ countryside, parts of which remain under rebel control?
The Iranians are more aware than the Russians that they are involved in this failed war, which even if they win its current battles, will go on and eventually force them to accept what they oppose and what they are fighting against, a political solutionAbdulrahman al-Rashed