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Thursday, March 22, 2018

From the battle over “Syria’s Stalingrad” depends on the outcome of the war

Deteriorated sharply in recent days, the situation in Aleppo is reminiscent of the crucial importance of this Syrian city. And the United States and Russia say about the necessity of compliance with the armistice – and yet there are too many circumstances which can prevent it.

“The silence regime” in Syria’s Aleppo has led to a decrease in the frequency and intensity of the clashes, stated Thursday night a White house spokesman, who is quoted by RIA “Novosti”.

“To stop the war in Aleppo is possible only with the complete defeat of one of the warring parties”

However, as reported TASS with reference to the Syrian SANA Agency, terrorists from the group “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra” and its allies from armed groups of the opposition tried to disrupt the “silent mode”, released on Thursday in the afternoon, 20 rockets at civilian neighborhoods of Aleppo.

We will remind, on the eve of the US state Department announced that Washington reached with Moscow agreement on cease-fire in Aleppo. The silence mode is already in force at midnight local time, the violence in the second largest city of Syria declined.

In turn, the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin hope that the regime of silence imposed in Aleppo will hold, although the situation is “potentially very fragile” – in part due to “the complex web of terrorists and representatives of the opposition”.

What made the army of Syria with the help of Russian troops (infographic)the prologue to the cessation of hostilities?

“The silence regime” began to operate on Thursday from 01.00 local time (which coincides with Moscow). As announced by the command of the Syrian government army, the fire must be completely stopped in the Northern capital of Syria in 48 hours. At the same time extended the “regime of silence” in Eastern ghouta near Damascus and in the Northern province of Latakia.

A few hours before the cease-fire, the defense Ministry said: “the American side supported the Russian proposal on the re-introduction of a “silence regime” in Eastern ghouta and Northern Latakia for 24 hours (till 24.00 may 5) and continued for 48 hours (till 24.00, on may 6, the “regime of silence” in the city of Aleppo,” according to the website of the Ministry.

The defense Ministry spokesman major General Igor Konashenkov said that the silence regime in the Syrian province of Aleppo could be a prelude to a full cessation of hostilities. And on the eve the head of the Centre for reconciliation of the warring parties in the Syrian Arab Republic the General-Lieutenant Sergey, Kurylenko said that the level of violence in Syria since the end of February fell several times. However, the situation in Aleppo, it seems, remains the main obstacle to change in the situation.

Almost immediately we began to receive reports of violations of the agreements.

The shelling did not stop for the day

In Aleppo in recent weeks being the most fierce fighting in Syria. Massive mortar and rocket attacks on Aleppo lasted more than a week. Killed more than 100 civilians. Terrorists launched two large-scale attempts to attack the city from the West. Tuesday on positions of the Syrian army tried to break through about 300 militants. Government troops managed to repel the attack, using aircraft.

As noted in the material published by the newspaper VZGLYAD, who was in Syria, as posted by the ex-Deputy of the Odessa city Council Igor Dimitriev, “the truce was not quiet in some places, the shelling of the city did not stop even for a day, but there were safe places – in the center, for example.”

“And now get anywhere – says Dimitriev. – Shells fly in any quarter, and now it’s not only the gas tanks, but missiles and mortar shells”. According to him, “roughly around the city has accumulated 14 000 soldiers from different groups: Islamic (“al-Nusra” associated with “al-Qaeda, and the Chechens “Muhajirin Val-Ansar”), Pro-Turkish (“Ahrar al-sham” and “Nur-ed-DIN al-Zengi”) and conditionally opposition, like the Free Syrian army. The attack was developed with three sides”. As reported by Dimitriev, the aim of the offensive of the Islamists is to capture the Western district of AZ-Zahra and cut off the city centre. Government troops were forced to use in the outskirts of the city artillery and aircraft. Because of this offensive was stopped, but the fighting continued all night.

“Stalingrad close”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday sent a telegram to the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Victory Day, compared the feat of Stalingrad in the great Patriotic war the situation in Aleppo is currently. “Stalingrad is close to Aleppo and all the Syrian cities. Syria promises that will not settle for anything less than the defeat of the aggressors and the final victory”, – quotes the text of the telegram, RIA “Novosti” with reference to SANA.

Aleppo from Stalingrad compared before. So, in February, the British newspaper the Spectator wrote that the Syrian army, backed by Russian aviation releases the province of Aleppo, just as the Soviet troops in the years 1942-1943 liberated Nazi-occupied Stalingrad.

“Even if the positions of Russia and the United States will be the same…”

You need to understand that in the Syrian conflict, there are forces that are not interested in ending the war, said in an interview with the newspaper LOOK chief editor of the magazine “Problems of national strategy” the Russian Institute of strategic studies (RISS), a political analyst Azhdar Kurtov. A number of countries will not agree to a truce, said the source.

What extremist groups are recognized as terrorist in different countries (infographic)”Aleppo Under the strong position of the radical Islamist and the secular opposition, which wants no truce, no compromise with Assad. Moreover, some warring groups have external sponsors, not only in the United States and Turkey. Many groups are supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Even if the positions of Russia and the United States will be the same, not the fact that Ankara, Riyadh or Doha will continue to support their groups. Therefore, the situation in Aleppo is very complex,” said Azhdar Kurtov.

The source added that radical groups in Aleppo need blood from his nose to disrupt the process of negotiations and the truce in Syria. In addition, Syria has for many countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, is the field of the fight against Iran. “I think it is not hard to give a secret order for the revitalization of radical groups in Aleppo. To stop the war in Aleppo is possible only with the complete defeat of one of the warring parties”, – said the analyst.

Since it is impossible to do, the conflict will last long, predicts the analyst. “With all the successes of the Syrian army fails to take control of most of the country. The fortune of war, known to be fickle. On the other hand, such clashes and attempts to depose Bashar al-Assad will continue not only in Aleppo but throughout Syria,” the expert summed up.

The stronghold of “al-Nusra”

The President of the Institute of religion and politics, orientalist Alexander Ignatenko said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW that the situation in Aleppo has many aspects.

“First and most importantly, what complicates the situation in Aleppo is that there is blocked the UN security Council recognized terrorist organization “Dzhebhat an-Nusra”. With or near this group in Aleppo, there are numerous opposition structures under the banner of the Free Syrian army. Also in this city is active “Ahrar al-sham”. Not so long ago they created a new Association “, Jeish al-Fath”. This was done in order to “hide” the “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra” – said Ignatenko.

The spokesman stressed that in Aleppo has created a situation in which it is impossible to separate terrorists from non-terrorists. “This prevents to carry out counter-terrorist operation, on the one hand, on the other – the ceasefire. In short, it is not clear, with whom to fight and whom to preserve the regime of silence,” says Ignatenko.

Cautious hope for the best

“In recent days Russia and the United States was in a difficult and intense negotiations on the situation in Aleppo. Moscow even appealed to the UN security Council with an initiative to assume the terrorist group Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-sham”, but it was torpedoed,” said Ignatenko.

The analyst believes that the signing of the armistice, though for 48 hours, there is a chance that the situation will improve.

“Judging by how you configured the US, in particular John Kerry, then the chances are pretty high. Not long ago, Kerry acknowledged that the attacks on civilians was conducted by the opposition. When the opposition or the terrorists feel some kind of support or international conditions, they are extremely aggressive. Therefore, the tandem between Moscow and Washington allows cautious hope for the best”, – concluded the expert.

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