83 percent; that’s how much territory the Syrian government has lost control of since the country’s civil war began more than four years ago, according to a new analysis by HIS Janes’s. Territory fully controlled by President Assad’s forces has shrunk by 18% between 1 January and 10 August 2015 to 29,797 square kilometers, roughly a sixth of the country, according to latest data produced by HIS Conflict Monitor.
Assad appears to concentrate his efforts on holding key strategic areas with large populations including Damascus, the Alawi coastal provinces of Latakia and Tartous, and the city of Homs, on the corridor connecting Damascus to the Latakia coast. HIS Jane’s observes that these are the areas likely to be defended, even at the expense of losing other major cities like Aleppo and Daraa.
On military manpower, the report says that the Syrian Army is believed to have lost around 50% of its prewar strength of 300,000, with manpower shortages creating a serious challenge to the government’s war effort. Many of the remaining soldiers are very young Alawi conscripts, sent to the front lines with minimal training and low morale. (HIS Jan’s, 23 August)
Under the circumstances, major military operations are apparently being led by the Quds Force-backed foreign Shia militias, especially the Lebanese Hezbollah, with the Syrian army on support role.
In the context of the defence pact which is in existence between Syria and Iran, to what level and extent is Iran obliged to help the Syrian regime as per the framework of that alliance? Also is Iran willing to assist in extraordinary ways, that is, commit its own military resources beyond what is already being given and stipulated in that defence agreement, to prevent the removal of Assad?
The pact is between Iran and Syria irrespective of the current government in power in Damascus or Tehran; Assad's continued rule is not covered under the pact and Iran is not obliged to keep him in power. The support Iran is giving Assad to stay in power is not legal-based but political.
I don't know the answer to the second question. But direct Iranian military intervention, if it ever happens, probably will be limited due to lack of logistics and air support capabilities, not large enough to be a game changer, and a very risky effort.
Well, Allawites and others should return to Lattakia Tartous coast and to adjacent mountains like it was before 1925, where they had their own entity.
And the Iran and Russia should support that kind of solution.
Otherwise it is a waste of time and resources.
Let the Kurds create their own entity and the Saudi Arabia with the West should clean their mess with terrorists or 'invite' them and 'guest' them, since they have created them.
In a way I agree with you.
ceding any territory to takfiri terrorists is not a solution .As long as there are raw recruits among disgruntles Iraqi and Syrians , financial support from rich Gulf Arab states , and Turkish safe passage for jihadi European passport holders , the region will be embroiled in conflict . I guess those know-nothing idiots who were calling for total withdrawal of American forces from Iraq , should have been more careful about what they were asking for . Iran or Russia's ability to influence the events on the grounds are marginal at best .
Uskowi- you nicely mention what percent of territory Assad still holds but what % of population does his govts area of control have? that seems more interesting because even befor this civil war started a big chunk of syria was already uninhabited so its not about territory, its about population areas."The population is the sea in which the insurgent swims in".
The report was not mine, it's HIS Jane's. As said in the post above the Damascus/Latakia corridor has large population, more than any other area in the country. But at the end of the day, the regime needs to control territory to keep the country united, unless it decides to break away from the Syria we knew and establish an Alawi Latakian state with large population.
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