Monday, July 16

Ignore the puffery and take in great news about the Syrian war

DEBKAfile, which seems to be a conduit for views of the most hawkish element in Israel's military, has been in a snit for days weeks about Syria and hasn't known whether to be madder at Netanyahu, Trump, or Putin. 

Anyhoo today they pulled themselves together to produce a short situation report that if one can get past the headline, the IDF's made-up statistics about Syria's military, and the photoshopped picture of the Ein Zivan-Quneitra border crossing, is quite helpful. 

And it's certainly very good news for those of us who'd like to see the Syrian war end before the turn of the next millennium..  

What does the good news mean? It means that the Syrian military's Southern Offensive has met with no serious opposition from outside foreign powers, including the U.S. and Israel. That in turn means the offensive is going like greased lightning; it could easily be over by the end of this month except for mop-up operations. 

Next stop will Idlib province, where the SAA will have to face Turkey's military and about 50,000 'rebel' fighters, most of which are connected with al Qaeda or an offshoot or Islamic State. 

The SAA will also have to deal with E.U., U.S., British and probably U.N. bureaucrats who want to continue using Idlib as a laboratory for their theories on how to transform hard-core Islamists into law-abiding adherents of liberal democracy.

Of the three factions that the Syrian army will face in Idlib, I'd say the toughest nut to crack will work out to a draw between the bureaucrats and Turkey's military, which knows that if they lose, the SAA will shove about 30,000 'rebel' fighters in Idlib back across the Turkish border, from whence they originally came.   

But if the SAA can replant the Syrian government's flag across much of Idlib province, that will as much end the Syrian war. 

Now to the good news from DEBKAfile:    

Netanyahu’s secret consent to hand Golan crossing to Syria led to Trump-Putin deal on Israel’s border security
July 16, 2018

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin joined in their support for Israel’s security at their Helsinki summit on Monday, July 16, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told them both that he had withdrawn his objections to the Syrian army reinstating its line of outposts in the Quenitra district, including control of the Ein Zivan-Quneitra border crossing. This is the only transit point between Israel and Syria.

Our sources reveal that Putin insisted on the Syrian army assuming control of this crossing, in the same way as he stipulated the handover to Syria of the Nassib crossing to Jordan.

Monday morning, the Syrian army captured the strategic Tel Al Harrah hills from rebel hands. That line of hilltop positions is the key to controlling the Quneitra district. 

Our military sources note that only 20 percent of the Syrian army consists of Syrian troops; the other 80 percent are Hizballah and other Shiite militias loyal to Iran. Today’s Syrian and allied victory therefore brings these hostile forces to within 3-4 km from Israel’s Golan border.



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