When asked for his response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill replied (I’m paraphrasing): “The Germans have just lost the war and England has been saved.” With France gone and most its war supplies left behind at Dunkirk with a good part of its army, it never made military sense for Britain to hold out except on the assumption the US would enter the war on Britain’s side. Hitler offered deal after deal but Churchill kept refusing as he kept his eyes on America.
A “successful” Geneva Convention would be a life saver for the Assad regime much as Pearl Harbor was Chuchill. In fact, Geneva is now Assad’s only hope. As in Churchill's case then, Assad's military position borders on the calamitous—a fact he and his propagandists have successful concealed from Obama, a dullard army chief of staff and incompetent analysts and reporters.
The regime is now a house of cards. Preventing the one major victory that brings down the whole Rube Goldberg contraption gets harder each day. A catastrophic loss must be staved off until Geneva—a last hope the regime would not even have now if not for for Putin’s mesmerizing ability to convert Obama into a collaborator. If the convention does not happen, or if rebels refuse to attend, you will see the air go out of this regime soon thereafter. The military impact will be even greater than if Obama had carried out his cruise missile attack instead of playing the roles of chicken and stooge.
The need to avoid any massive setback prior to Geneva explains why Assad’s generals have just launched an unwinnable ground offensive in Athman (right above Daraa) at a time when it has too much to deal with elsewhere. The purpose is not to win a victory but to stall a possible avalanche of defeats no one can miss. This is also why the regime continues to bomb Aleppo and Ezzor daily, to hold out in al-Raqqa’s 17th Division. In none of these cases does it imagine victory is even remotely conceivable.
Fear of a major pre-Geneva defeat or (at best) a revelatory quagmire also explains its current reluctance in Qalamoun. A quagmire would suffice to demonstrate to even the most incompetent observer that Damascus has been permanently severed from the Alawite coast. That perception would be reinforced by likely rebel victories elsewhere, especially south of Damascus.
STALLING OFF CERTAIN DEFEAT IN ALTMAN
Is there any chance that a regime that could not take the Damascus suburb of Daraya despite18 months of trying while employing elite troops available on the ground and massive artillery on the mountains above, can succeed way down south at this time? Troops involved will be cut off, only to be loss via casualities, defections or capture–adding slightly to the regime’s current manpower problems elsewhere. The regime knows that but it isn’t the point. If Geneva succeeds a few more lost troops won’t matter. If Geneva fails, would they be much help in stemming the subsequent rebel avalanche?
Most regime offensives succeed initially but rarely for more than a week, after which they are driven back with substantial losses. Outside the Damascus area regime fighters have been routinely diced and sliced in ground combat lately ( See Al Safira and Sukhnah). The majority of regime fighters are either Sunni troops ordered into battle with guns at their back or Alawite militia suited to terrorizing civilians. There may or my not be foreign militia. The presence of shibbiha (i.e., war criminals) always guarantees extra motivation on the rebel side. While all this is going on, the best trained and equipped units must stay in Damascus to protect the butts of ruling thugs. These units are almost exclusively Alawites, especially at the command level.
Black navy: TRACKING THE IRANIAN-BACKED FLEET THAT'S FUELING THE ASSAD REGIME
“…Simply put, the Iranian regime is giving its natural resources away at a time when its own people are starving thanks to debilitating international sanctions on its nuclear program.”
KENNETH KATZMAN COMMENTS ON KARYBIS’ LATEST SITUATION MAP OF SYRIA
“… it's almost all over for Assad. Rebels have contiguous ground from Daraa to Daraya (Damascus).”
“…map shows rebels are at the gates of Sweida in the south.”
“Assad keeps making the same mistake, sending tanks in open areas all alone. Then he wonders why he has no tanks left.” (My response: What has clearly become an Alawite regime is not running out of Alawites. He can’t expect the people he targeted for atrocities and genocide to protect his tanks).
For a copy of the map and some analysis of my own, see the previous roundup
REBELS SHOOT AN ALAWITE BAD GUY AFTER DESTROYING HIS TANK
Aleppo: A WELL-ARMED CONVOY OF REBELS HAS CUT THE ROAD BETWEEN KURDISH AREA AND PRO-REBEL TOWNS OF NUBI & ZARAH.
This is probably the same group that seized Jalbul yesterday. It is on the road directly north of those two towns.
Also in the Aleppo area, rebels caught this tank alone and out in the open and the tank and crew suffered their usual fate.
In yesterday’s roundup I included a map of the current situation in Aleppo. You can see the huge amount of territory the regime has lost over the past few months. Even with massive forces sent elsewhere, rebels continue to chip away.
WHY WOULD ANYONE TRUST A POWER-SEEKING, LOUDMOUTHED CLERIC LIKE THIS CHILD RAPIST?
We’ve already seen what kinds of crimes Khamenei is willing to support. A Saudi Arabian preacher raped & tortured his 5-yr-old daughter to death, & gets only 8 yrs. in prison