The civil war trudges on. With possible multi-national negotiations in the wings, President Bashar Assad has been pressing for an image of success in the on-going civil war. The entrance of Hezbollah gave the sagging regime a new lease on life. Rather than being pushed out the back door, the Assad establishment reversed their losses and appeared to be back on top. However, the picture is not as secure as they would like to represent.
The situation remains a “give-and-take” struggle.
Government forces recently pushed rebels back from a number of suburbs just outside Damascus. Around the key northern city, Aleppo’s rebels are now on the defensive. Because the United States backed away from its proposed missile attacks, Assad has avoided the serious upheaval that could have tossed him to the back of the bus. He is certainly in a better position from where government troops were a year and a half ago.
Before anyone runs up a victory flag, a second look reveals anything but a winning solution in sight. In Tadamon on the southern edge of Damascus, the government found that it took them weeks to push invading rebels back just a few hundred yards. The government army remains stretched thin.
One of the government’s problems has been their failure to make progress on the gains they have already made. Significant divisions within the Assad government have weakened their ability to respond. Some officials seek to moderate the fighting in hopes of obtaining local cease-fires. Part of their strategy is to present the government as seeking peace should they sit down at a negotiating table. Another portion of the government team wants the opposite and presses for more aggressive action. While these two sides disagree, the crisis in the country only deepens.
The influx of Hezbollah fighters has now bottomed out and other radical jihadists elements continue to cross the borders to fight against Assad. The rumor is that these foreign fighters from across the Muslim world can be bought for $3,000 a head. While the war continues, the number of Syrian refugees also continues to increase. This past week more victims fled Syria and poured into the Bekaa Valley over the border in Lebanon.
The bottom line? Nothing is going nowhere.
The rebels insist no talks are possible until Assad leaves. Assad says he will run for president next year. The world’s nations only jawbone and do nothing. People keep on being killed.
Sorry. Just another day of ongoing chaos.