Arab Diplomat: Siege of Aleppo Turning Point in Syria Conflict

Syrian army soldiers patrol in government-controlled Aleppo's al-Khalidiya area where the army progressed towards the industrial zone of al-Layramoun and Bani Zeid on June 28, 2016. Aleppo was once the country's commercial hub but now lies divided between government forces in the west and rebels in the east. / AFP …

The victory clinched by the Syrian army in Aleppo on Wednesday is a turning point in the Syrian conflict as well as global diplomacy at large, according to the assessment of an Arab diplomat speaking to Breitbart Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, in the most significant military breakthrough since the beginning of the Syrian civil war five years ago, the Syrian army imposed a blockade on Aleppo, cutting off escape and supply routes to the rebels in the city’s eastern districts.

Not only is the successful siege on Syria’s second-largest city a huge achievement for the regime, it has also propelled Russian President Vladimir Putin to an advantage, the official said.

“Russian diplomacy, championed in a responsive and nimble manner by Putin and his Foreign Secretary Sergei Levrov, have dragged the American policy into submission to their goals,” he said.

As far as Washington’s allies in the Arab world are concerned, Aleppo is a victory not only for the Syrian regime, but for the Iranian as well, he opined.

“If Aleppo is liberated, which seems to be the likely scenario, Assad will be able to claim victory,” he said. “Whether he gets to keep his seat or not, the Syrian president and his Iranian allies have defeated America’s allies and, ultimately, the US military involvement in Syria served Russian, Syrian and Iranian interests and undermined those of Saudi Arabia, who was already reeling from the Iran nuclear deal and America’s feckless support in the military campaign it leads in Yemen. The Syrian opposition now knows beyond a shadow of doubt that the strong side is Russia’s and Iran’s, not America’s.”

The US, he estimated, will eventually be forced to reward the Kurds for their effort by accepting their demand for extended autonomy or even statehood, “which means being at loggerheads with Turkey, a major player in NATO.”

“Putin made great use of Kurdish forces in the last few battles, both as reinforcement in the ground operation and also as a bargaining chip against Turkey, following its interception of a Russian fighter jet,” he added. “The Kurds are now stronger, at the expense of a NATO member, and on the other hand Turkey and Russia have started normalization talks. On both fronts, the clout of Russia and its allies has grown at the expense of America’s allies.”


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