As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aleppo was Syria’s largest city with a population of 2.5 million people. That was in early 2011 before the conflict starts. The Syrian Civil War started in March 2011. But it wasn’t until 19 July, 2012 that the Battle of Aleppo officially began. And since then hundreds of thousands have been forced to evacuate.
However, the Syrian Civil War isn’t just about a bunch of people who aren’t happy with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The city of Aleppo has a complex mix of Kurds, Iranians, Turkmen, Armenians and Circassians. Because of such rich of diversification, the civil war soon turns into what appears to be a War of United Nations.
Those fighting the Syrian Civil War include the Turkish, Iraqis, Iranians, Libyans, Chechens, Lebanese, Palestinians, and even French. To add flavours into the war, there were also the Christian Armenians and Arab Armenians, not to mention Islamic extremists such as the ISIS. Yes, it was like a wild party with Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, Kate Upton, Lindsay Lohan and Lady Gaga up for grab.
To make the war even more interesting, not all rebel fighters were there because they hated Bashar al-Assad. They were there to loot the city and would happily switch their loyalties to groups that could offer more. It was like the popular drama Game of Throne. In a way, the Syrian Civil War is actually a miniaturised World War 3. How come?
On one side, you have the Syrian government supported by Russia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Algeria, Lebanon, Venezuela and Belarus. On another side, you have the Syrian opposition supported by U.S., France, Britain, Turkey and Arab League such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar. From the perspective of Islam, it was a war between the Sunni and Shiite/Shia.
As soon as the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, the United States supplied the rebels of the Free Syrian Army with aid such as food rations and pickup trucks. But quickly the U.S. began providing training, cash, and intelligence to multiple Syrian rebel commanders in charge of various groups. The U.S. began to strike targets inside Syria on Sept 22, 2014.
There’s little doubt that Syrian conflict would have had remained merely people demonstrations – demanding more democratic governance – and not a full scale of civil war, if the U.S. hadn’t intervened. President Bashar al-Assad had declared his willingness to implement reforms and to negotiate with unarmed opposition forces, although he could be lying.
Inspired by their success in overthrowing the Libyan government under Muammar Qaddafi, the U.S. and its NATO allies demonized Assad as another bloodthirsty leader like Qaddafi. Of course, Libya is worse today than under the evil Qaddafi regime. While the U.S. has its own agenda, Saudi and its minions wanted to install a sectarian Sunni Islamic state in Syria.
Fortunately, Russia and China refused to sign on to a similar Libya “No Fly Zone” U.N. resolution in Syria. Had they agreed, a NATO bombing of Syria would have terminated Bashar al-Assad and the world might see a similar Libya in Syria today. But the U.S. and the Arab League, under the pretext of killing ISIS, continue bombing Syria anyway – for years without any success of terminating the Daesh (ISIL, ISIS, IS).
When Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “officially invited” Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene in his country’s civil war on 30 September last year, Moscow gladly accepted, much to Washington’s annoyance. But aside from whining, crying and bitching, there wasn’t much the U.S. can do to “overthrow Assad”. After all, Russia was legitimately invited to send military hardware into Syria.
And thanks to U.S.’ strategic error whereby a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber aircraft, Putin brilliantly turned it into an opportunity – the deployment of “Triumf” S-400 SAM (better known to NATO as the SA-21 “Growler”). Targeting 400 kilometers in distance and heights of up to 27 kilometers, the S-400 is now covering 75% of Syrian territory.
Since the breakdown of a cease-fire last month, Syrian government forces backed by Russian warplanes have launched a major onslaught on rebel-held parts of Aleppo. The biggest ground assault by Bashar al-Assad – backed by Lebanese and Iraqi Shiite militias, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Russian air power – was meant to crush rebels into oblivion.
If succeed, the assault could potentially wipe out rebel forces and retaking a city that is key to ending the almost 6-year-old Syrian Civil War. But this will also mean that all the rebels sponsored by CIA, not to mention billions of dollars spent, would vaporised into thin air. The Russian air strikes include hitting a hospital in a rebel-held area, putting it out of service.
While United Nations try to revive a ceasefire, which is unlikely to succeed, the U.S. is playing its traditional propaganda script – accusing the Russia-Syria of butchering civilians. However, being called a bloodthirsty evil and dictator, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin couldn’t care less. After all, when the U.S. air strike hit a hospital in Yemen, they conveniently called it “collateral damage.”
As a pre-emptive measure, Moscow told Washington not to interfere and warned that any American attempts to stop its assault would lead to “frightening tectonic shifts in the Middle East”. Obviously, Vladimir Putin was betting every penny that like his annexation of Crimea in 2014, Barack Obama would not dare declare a war on Russia.
Technically, the U.S. cannot stop the forces of Syria-Russia without declaring a war on not only the Syria and Russia but also Iran. But considering how much Barack Obama has been sucking up to Iran, including secretly sending planeload of cash to the country, there’s absolutely no chance the U.S. would launch air strike against Russia and Iran.
In a leak recording, US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the US had no legal justification for attacking the Assad regime, while Russia had been invited to join the conflict on behalf of the Syrian leader. And Obama knew that as well. With 109 days until leaves office, President Barack Obama would rather play golf than go against Putin and suffer a humiliating defeat.
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