Observers of the situation in Syria know that all the last months Bashar Assad pulled all his forces to the last bastion of the revolution – the province of Idlib. All other, less significant centers of resistance were suppressed by Assad. And most often this was the surrender of positions in exchange for the relocation of rebels to Idlib. Therefore, Idlib today is an enclave of the revolution, densely populated by both original residents and the resettled rebels from different regions, ranging from the inhabitants of Aleppo to the inhabitants of East Ghouta.
And its residents are those whom the regime could not buy, intimidate or squeeze out of Syria. These are those who remain in Syria for almost eight years in the conditions of war. And knowing the history of this war, America, standing behind Russia, Turkey and Iran, understands that there is not enough “strength alone” to capture Idlib. Moreover, in such a confrontation of “all against all” there is a great risk to lose the whole army of Assad, that is already weak, poorly equipped, staffed by any foreign rabble that does not have military experience. Which in turn can lead to irreparable consequences for the countries of disbelief.
And if we saw how the Syrian army was pulling all its forces to Idlib, then Russia also strengthened its presence. Against the backdrop of the largest military exercises in the history of Russia on August 28, 2018 “Izvestia” reported that a group of 10 Russian military ships and 2 submarines were deployed in the Mediterranean. In addition to them, 3 American destroyers and 3 nuclear submarines, equipped with the Tomahawk system, headed by the Mount Whitney headquarters, arrived in the Mediterranean Sea to the water area of Greece. English ships also arrived. In Europe, even the strategic bombers capable of carrying atomic bombs were thrown by Americans these days (Interfax, September 5). The RF Defense Ministry represented by Speaker Konashenkov connected this buildup of the US Armed Forces with the situation in Idlib (Interfax, September 5). Also the Turkish army surrounded Idlib with a dense ring.
However, all this impending storm died down at one point – on September 7, following the results of the Iran, Russia and Turkey summit, a declaration was adopted about the commitment of these three countries to a political settlement in Syria. And since only one territory beyond the control of Asad remains in Syria, it means that the declaration is about the confrontation in Idlib.
However, a natural question arises, “Why do they pull such a huge number of troops?”
“If to frighten Idlib, why did not they attack?”. Because no one in Idlib wavered and went to an agreement with the executioner.
This refusal of the military option of reprisal against Idlib from the Russia-Iran-Turkey is in fact a recognition of the impossibility of defeating Idlib in the current situation. If we take the essence of military affairs, then they recognize the superiority of Muslims on the battlefields, despite all the military power given above. And so the enemies of the revolution need to find other ways to defeat the rebels.
As before, America is deploying its main weapon – Erdogan. At the initiative of Turkey on September 11, 2018 in New York, a meeting of the UN Security Council was held, whose participants, including Russia, unanimously declared the need for a political settlement in Syria. Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Nebenzya in particular, said “…at the Iranian summit, Russia confirmed the non-alternative nature of the political settlement…”
In addition, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Turkish President Erdogan, in which he called on the Western countries to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib. With this and many other similar speeches, Erdogan once again depicts himself as a friend of the Syrian people and its revolution.
But for now, Turkey’s role has become more complicated, as many sincere people saw the face of its ruler, realized the essence of its operations, the Euphrates Shield and the Olive Branch, when it carried away the rebels, and Aleppo and Ghouta were surrendered. The difficulty for Erdogan is the fact that the people of Sham grew up, learned to distinguish between their interests and enemy interests. What is especially evident in the wave of discrediting the sheikhs of the “frogs”, who called for ceasefire and the leaders of military groups who had given their positions for money.
On September 13, it became known that the troops of Assad had withdrawn from neighboring Khama in the direction of Palmyra, as divisions of the Fifth Corps also departed. The bombings by Russian aircraft ceased as well. Despite the continuing shelling in some settlements, the situation around Idlib calmed somewhat down. Such a status quo, in the absence of attacking actions by the rebels, strengthens the position of Damascus every day and kills the revolution.
It seems that Idlib understands this. However, the difference in approaches to the method of revolution in the Ummah hinders its progress.
And if in the history of the revolution there were moments when the head of the snake was at arm’s length and it seemed that here it is – the moment of truth and victory will soon come, today we understand that the victory over Damascus is not the goal of the revolution. But it is the establishment of the state of the Khilafah (Caliphate), which must first occur in the minds of the people. And the moment of truth has come now. Muslims have military superiority and gained in the course of the war an invaluable experience of political mistakes. Will they take in hand the main weapon – the political leadership and method of our Messenger of Allah ﷺ?
O Allah Almighty, give the best result to the people of Sham and our Ummah, show us the state of the Khilafah by the method of the Prophethood!
Written for Ar-Rayah Newspaper – Issue 202