Endgame: The Battle for Aleppo and ‘Plan C’
The battle for
Aleppo has forced the al Qaeda groups into their
desperate last stand, as the Washington-driven proxy
war on Syria moves into its final stages. The
liberation of Aleppo will be the beginning of the
maps have been misleading. Even before the Russian
air power intervention of September 2015 the Syrian
Government controlled 85% of the country’s populated
areas. But reclaiming all of Aleppo is critical for
Syrian control of the north and of supply lines to
the shrinking ground of ISIS in the east.
major problem has been Turkey’s semi-open support
for jihadist armies crossing the 800km northern
frontier, and the Turkey-Saudi-Qatari backed
advances of ISIS from the east. In the past 10
months the Syrian Alliance has successfully pushed
back on both fronts. Further, since last month,
Turkey is in disarray, with its own problems.
the logic of dominant forces but, to understand the
endgame in this war, the logic of resistance is no
less important. Syria is proving that independent
peoples who unite and resist can end up with a
greater say in the outcome.
Washington’s war on Syria began with sectarian proxy
armies sent in to topple the government in Damascus.
The western media continues to speak of ‘moderate
rebels’, but the evidence is clear that the US and
its allies have backed every single armed group in
Syria, including the western group led by the group
formerly known as Jabhat al Nusra (now rebadged as
‘Jabhat Fatah al-Sham’, in a futile attempt to avoid
Syrian-Russian bombing), and the eastern group
DAESH-ISIS. They all share a similar vicious,
the bloodshed and rhetoric, Plan A’s
then aimed at partition of the country using, in
part, what the US saw as its ‘Kurdish card’.
that any such partition is against the terms of UN
Security Council resolution 2254, which reaffirms
the UN’s ‘strong commitment to the sovereignty,
independence, unity and territorial integrity of the
Syrian Arab Republic’. The US ignores such niceties.
Nevertheless, Plan B is failing due to the coherence
of Syria’s communities, their support for the Syrian
Army, and strong regional solidarity, particularly
from Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and the nationalist
Syria’s Kurdish militia have been coordinating with
and relying on the Syrian Arab Army. Whatever
Syria’s Kurds want, if put to a vote, Syrians would
not support a federalisation which would weaken the
country against its enemies.
‘Plan C’ may be where
forces better converge. Washington’s ‘rogue state’
is a very bad loser. It took Washington seven years
to withdraw from Vietnam, after it knew it was
losing. However Syria has a master diplomat, in the
form of the Russian President, willing and able to
cloak a North American retreat with ‘dignity’.
Putin gave President Obama a way out, once before,
back in September 2013, over the fake chemical
weapons stunt, carried out by Jabhat al Nusra and
its partners (see Anderson 2016, Chapter Nine). The
dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile
(held as a deterrent against Israel) prevented a US
‘limited’ missile strike on Syria.
We may well
see a similar deal where Putin hails Obama’s
statesman like role in helping bring peace to Syria,
allowing Washington to put Syria ‘on the
backburner’, as it did with Iran last year. Of
course, this will be a monstrous lie, but one that
could help end the bloodshed.
change in Turkey would certainly help with such a
plan. But whether or not Erdogan survives the mutiny
of his own armed forces, a strategic and economic
tide is turning against the Turkish role in Syria.
As its proxy armies lose, Ankara is trying to repair
its bad relations with Russia while worsening those
with Washington. Erdogan, rightly or wrongly, blames
the US for backing the recent coup attempt.
C’, in the few months that remain for the Obama
administration, would probably leave unresolved the
question of the US ideological campaigns and
economic sanctions against Syria, Iran and
Hezbollah, Israel’s key opponents.
experience of Washington’s previous wars in Latin
America and Vietnam tell us that the USA will try to
keep alive its myths, its ‘official history’, as
long as possible.
Aleppo is the
final turning point in this conflict because, after
the liberation of Homs, Qsayr and Palmyra,
definitive reverses are destroying the morale of
both the jihadists and their sponsors. Not even
fanatics are keen to join in an obviously losing
year the sectarian groups have been steadily ground
down in rural Damascus. The capital, with a
population swollen to between 7 and 8 million
people, has had very little rocketing, mortars or
car bombs this year. Street life is far more
relaxed. Ceasefires have ‘worked’ here because the
remaining armed groups (in the East Ghouta and
Daraya) are substantially weakened and surrounded.
Damascus regained some sense of security, a shocking
war raged on in Aleppo. As usual, the western media
lied incessantly, focussing exclusively on that part
of the city held by the al Qaeda groups and now
including less than 200,000 people in total,
including a small army of intelligence agents from
the US, UK, France, Turkey and Israel, and several
western NGOs such the White Helmets.
recent days small groups of jihadists have been
surrendering, to take advantage of a possible
Presidential amnesty, while dozens of residents pass
out through Syrian and Russian army controlled
humanitarian corridors. Those checkpoints are run by
commando units, including General Suheil al Hassan’s
Tiger Forces, as check points still face jihadist
suicide car-bombs, as they did in Palmyra.
there have been almost no western media stories
about the 1.5 million in the government held area.
Over April-May many dozens of people were murdered
across Aleppo as civilian areas and major hospitals
were bombed by the NATO-backed ‘rebels’. They were
even filmed firing their ‘hell cannons’ while saying
‘throw it on the civilians’ (Anderson 2016, 9 May).
Nothing of this emerged in the western corporate
April-May the White Helmets claimed Russian or
Syrian airstrikes had destroyed ‘al Quds hospital’,
killing the last paediatrician in Aleppo. In fact,
as Dr Nabil Antaki and the Aleppo Medical
Association pointed out, that facility was not a
registered hospital at all, rather a makeshift
clinic in a damaged residential building in an al
Nusra held area. In fact, there are dozens of
paediatricians in Aleppo’s main public hospitals
(Antaki and Cattori 2016; Beeley 2016; Makhoul-Yatim
mercenary gangs fired hundreds of rockets into the
main part of Aleppo, gassed the Kurdish areas of the
city and publicly beheaded a Palestinian boy,
supposedly a spy for one of the Palestinian militia
which fights alongside the SAA. Typically, the BBC
gave prominence to jihadist claims that the publicly
murdered 12 year old was ‘a fighter’ (BBC 2016).
Distorted coverage to the end.
media, still on its war footing, ran false stories
that ‘all of Aleppo’ was under siege, or that al
Qaeda’s field clinics were the ‘only hospitals’ in
Aleppo. For example, Australian state media
reported: ‘Syrian city of Aleppo running out of food
as regime forces surround city’. In fact, 15% of the
population of Aleppo was under Syrian Army siege. At
the same time the entire country of Syria is under
siege by US, EU and Australian economic sanctions
(ABC Radio National 2016).
stories matter less as they are displaced by the
more immediate video testimony of residents leaving
the al Qaeda areas, only to praise the Syrian Army
and curse the western backed ‘moderate’ head
choppers (Geopolitics 2016).
backed jihadists are losing and the region’s public
mood is hardening. Syrian civil opposition leader
Moustafa Kelechi (not allied to the armed groups)
says the battle of Aleppo ‘is a war to crush the
Takfiri groups’ bones’ (FARS News 2016). The Iraqi
government, once thought a mere puppet of the US,
has repeatedly confirmed its close cooperation with
the Syrian Government’s struggle against terrorist
groups (SANA 2016).
regional alliance forged during this war – Syria,
Iran, Russia, Iraq, Hezbollah and the nationalist
Palestinian militia – will maintain a strong role in
both the Syrian endgame and across the region.
National (2016), ‘Syrian city of Aleppo running out
of food as regime forces surround city’, 20 July,
Tim (2016) The Dirty War on Syria, Global
Research, Montreal. (available online:
Tim (2016, 9 May) ‘The ‘Aleppo Hospital’
Smokescreen: Covering up Al Qaeda Massacres in
Syria, Once Again’, Global Research, 9 May, online:
Nabil and Silvia Cattori (2016) ‘Aleppo Doctor
Attacks Western Media for Bias, Censorship and
Lies’, Global Research, 1 May, online:
(2016) ‘Syria conflict: Boy beheaded by rebels ‘was
fighter’’, 21 July, online: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36843990
Vanessa (2016) ‘Aleppo: US NATO False Flags, Lies
and Propaganda’, 21st century Wire, 4
(2016) ‘Dissident Leader Sees Army Victories in
Aleppo “Syria’s Winning Card in Geneva”’, 23 July,
(2016) ‘Trapped Aleppo residents begun flowing
through 1st humanitarian corridor’, 31
Makhoul-Yatim, Amara (2016) ‘Nabil Antaki, the
Syrian doctor who refused to leave Aleppo’, France
24, 21 May, online:
‘President al-Assad receives letter from Iraqi prime
Minister: War carried on by Syrian and Iraqi armies
is one’, 13 July, online:
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