During his speech to the Russian Parliament on February 22, Russia’s Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu made victorious announcement that the days of the Syrian war conflict were numbered, INTERFAX reported.
The Russian military dealt a deathblow to the forces of international terrorists in Syria and prevented the collapse of the country, he said.
That's what the Russians want everyone to believe. The Russians are eager for an exit strategy from Syria.
Tell that to these guys:
Militants attacked two Syrian security offices in the western city of Homs on Saturday with guns and suicide bombers, killing at least 42 people including a senior officer, a war monitor said.
Jihadis (and other rebels) are still active in Homs.
And fighting continues near Aleppo, despite Assad's capture of rebel-held areas of the city after years of trying. Let's see if Assad can hold it.
Russian direct intervention in September 2015 was surely key in propping up Assad on the verge of defeat. But Assad has reclaimed little outside of a portion of Aleppo.
Most gains against ISIL have been from American and Turkish efforts. Assad and his Russian and Iranian friends (which includes Iran's pet Hezbollah from Lebanon and a Shia foreign legion of foreign cannon fodder more willing to die than the long suffering Assad supporters) avoid fighting ISIL, for the most part, to focus on other rebels.
Assad controls--with crucial Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah, and Shia foreign legion help--only a crescent of western Syria, for the most part, and he holds that tenuously and with a military that is a shadow of itself after heavy casualties.
And what will Iran be able to afford in Syria if the Trump administration pressures Iran instead of enriching this aggressive state as the Obama administration did?
Will Hezbollah be content to lose men in an endless civil war in Syria? What might Israel do to Hezbollah while Hezbollah is busy in Syria if the Trump administration facilitates an Arab-Israeli alliance to roll back Iranian aggression in the Middle East and truly stop the mullah nutballs from getting nukes?
If America and others ramp up support for non-jihadi rebels and defeat ISIL in Syria, the long-suffering backers of Assad will see victory snatched away from their grasp again.
Just how long can Assad's supporters endure this financial and human sacrifice? A conflict whose days are numbered says nothing about how big that number is nor specifies who wins.