By Elijah J Magnier
04, 2018 "Information Clearing House" -
After only two weeks since the beginning of
the military operation, jihadists and
militants in most of eastern rural Daraa in
south Syria have either surrendered or were
overwhelmed, the over 70 villages they
occupied were liberated by the Syrian Army.
Meanwhile, Israel has reduced its requests
or conditions pronounced in the last two
weeks: from launching threats against the
approach of the Syrian Army towards the
South, to menaces if Damascus pushes forces
beyond the 1974 demarcation line and the
disengagement agreement between Syria and
Israel. This clearly means all players (the
US, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia) have
dropped the jihadists and militants they
were training and are turning their back on
them: they are now on their own.
For over seven years, Israel has invested intelligence, finance, military and medical supplies in these jihadists and their allies. On many occasions, Israel has said it prefers the “Islamic State” to Iranian forces on the borders. Many times, Israel showed images of jihadists – including those fighting under the flag of al-Qaeda – in Israeli hospitals, recovering from wounds inflicted during their clashes with the forces of Damascus. Today, it is clear that Israel’s intentions have been defeated when it can announce that for the Syrian army to cross the 1974 disengagement line it means crossing red lines. Israel is crying in the wilderness because the Syrian army has the intention and means to defeat all jihadists and militants who received supplies from foreign countries. It has never crossed Syria’s mind to start a new war with Israel before the Syrian territory (in the north) is liberated.
The Syrian allies are participating in the battle of the south of Syria as advisors and with backup (small) units to fill gaps only if the battle becomes critical on this or that front. So far, jihadists and militants are easily defeated and represent little resistance. There is little doubt how ISIS (the “Islamic State”, aka Jaish Khaled Bin al-Waleed), deployed on the 1975 disengagement line, will react because neither the Syrian Army nor Russia are offering a relocation to the terrorist group. Therefore, the only choice ISIS have in south Syria is to fight, surrender or be allowed to cross into Israel, since for years the Israeli Army has been cohabiting with ISIS beautifully. The number of terrorists is estimated at between 1500 and 2000, a relatively small number when we consider that the Syrian Army faced tens of thousands in al-Yarmouk, rural Homs, al-Badiya, Deir-ezzour and Albukamal in the north and north east- and they wiped them out completely.
The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has
disregarded any Israeli threat related to
the participation of Iranian advisors and
Hezbollah Special forces in the battle of
south of Syria. Actually, Russia understands
the necessity of the presence of Damascus’
allies on the ground, so the operation is
fully supported and success is guaranteed.
Moreover, Moscow has seen Hezbollah and
Iranian advisors pulling out from every
single battle when the Syrian army prevails
and whenever Damascus considered the area
safe enough to take over completely.
Therefore, President Putin can guarantee to
his US counterpart Donald Trump (and he
already did guarantee this to his Israeli
visitors last month in Moscow) that no
Iranian or Hezbollah advisors shall remain
behind on Israeli borders (the wish of the
Syrian central government). That was
sufficient for Trump to inform Israel that
the US has no reasons to believe it is
facing any dangerfrom the Syrian Army on its
For almost 45 years, Damascus didn’t engage in any serious attack against Israel starting from the 1974 disengagement line bordering the occupied Golan heights. There can be no comparison between the presence of the Syrian regular forces and the presence of the terrorist group, ISIS, on the Israeli occupied Golan heights. In fact, it will be impossible for President Trump to defend Israel’s case to protect ISIS regardless how close the terrorist group and Israel are following years of being “good neighbours” – and attack the Syrian army wishing to recover its own territory and totally eliminate the presence of ISIS from the south of Syria.
What is remaining in the south of Syria is only a tactical battle. It will intensify on one front and will be smooth on the other. The battle is reaching its first objective to clear eastern Daraa, in the coming days, and to secure the Naseeb border crossing between Jordan and Syria that helps both countries to recover some hundreds of millions of dollars yearly from their trade and commerce.
In the second phase, the west of Daraa and Quneitra, the Syrian army will push its forces towards south-west Daraa to clear jihadists standing on the way between the Syrian army and where ISIS is located. There is no specific time allocated for the ending of the battle. Nevertheless, the result of the battle is easily predictable: the Syrian army will regain control of Syrian territory, particularly the city of Daraa where all countries involved in “regime change” (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the US, the UK, Qatar) initiated their flow of weapons and finance for the south. They have managed to achieve only the destruction of the Levant ($300 billions are needed to rebuild Syria), the death of around 400,000 persons, and millions of displaced persons and refugees.
Elijah J Magnier - Veteran War Zone Correspondent and Senior Political Risk Analyst with over 35 years' experience covering the Middle East and acquiring in-depth experience, robust contacts and political knowledge in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Syria. Specialised in terrorism and counter-terrorism, intelligence, political assessments, strategic planning and thorough insight in political networks in the region. Covered on the ground the Israeli invasion to Lebanon (1st war 1982), the Iraq-Iran war, the Lebanese civil war, the Gulf war (1991), the war in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1996), the US invasion to Iraq (2003 to date), the second war in Lebanon (2006), the war in Libya and Syria (2011 to date). Lived for many years in Lebanon, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria. https://ejmagnier.com
Proof read by: Maurice Brasher
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.
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