Russia helps Bashar al Assad in Syria!
Russia is openly supporting the Syrian leader Bassar al-Assad as the battle for Syria’s second most important city begins in earnest between President Assad’s army and the opposition group represented by the Free Syrian Army.
It has been three weeks since President Putin decided to intervene in Syria with the full might of Russia’s air power. And this has caused a severe blow to the spirits of the opposition forces, as they know they are no match to Russia’s awesome military power.
Zakaria Malafji of the opposition group Free Syrian Army inside Aleppo says, “The regime advanced six kilometres [on Friday] and they took three villages. The Russians showered us with bombs even in the civilian areas. They want to clear everything so the regime tanks and even the soldiers on foot can advance.”
He adds, “Civilians immediately started leaving their houses in waves and fled to the neighbouring villages. And our people had to retreat for more support.”
Lebanon’s Hezbollah is fighting at Aleppo as well. A resident of the city of Beirut says, “Every one of the brothers I know has gone there. This is the first time they’ve all disappeared like that. They’re even shortening their vacation times.”
The Free Syrian Army fighters say they have the weapons to fight Assad’s army but that it’s hard to fight a three pronged attack – by President Assad’s army on one side, from the Russians by air and bu ISIS as well. It’s safe to say that they feel completely besieged.
Usama Abuzaid, of the Free Syria Army says: “In the last couple of days the attacks increased everywhere in the countryside, even in the areas where Isis is trying to advance. Aleppo is very important for everyone. For us, it is our supply line to Turkey for food and weapons. Also, it has a revolutionary value for us. It holds our main FSA headquarters, and that’s the reason the Russians are advancing.”
He adds, “The regime and Isis tried to take Aleppo last year and they couldn’t, and now they are trying again with the Russians. The Russians are doing Isis a huge favour. They are giving them air cover while they are attacking us from the ground.”
A senior member of the Free Syria Army, Mohammed al-Sheikh, explained the situation in Syria in revealing details: “We know that, if the Iranians bomb us, it would be the start of the third world war. Everyone from the Arab world would come and join us, because it would be a Persian attack on Syria. This is why the regime has played it smartly, by bringing in the Russians.
“For the regime, Aleppo is the economic hub. If we lose Aleppo, it doesn’t mean we lose the war, it means we lost a phase. The same is happening with the regime. Each day we win one part and then we lose another.
“Our friends understand the gravity of the situation, but their hands are tied by politics and international agreements. We are the Syrians who are losing on a daily basis because of these politics.
“If we look at who has what in Syria, you will see that Isis is only controlling the desert, and it is worthless. Yes, they have oil and water, but now we are controlling the core of Syria and that’s why the regime is crying for help.”
Tough days are ahead for Syria, indeed. But what about the Americans? What’s their role in the whole crisis? Malafji says, “We are confused about the Americans. We can only see the Americans active near the Kurdish areas, but not anywhere else.”
He adds, “We used to dream about the sound of F-16s. But for us it’s just the Syrian planes, and the deeper roar of the Russian jets. That’s our fate.”
Author: Raghav Hegde – India
source foto: rusi.org