" ... the launch of the offensive called into question the entire premise of the agreement painstakingly negotiated by Kerry and Lavrov over the past eight months: that Russia shares the Obama administration’s view that there is no military solution to the conflict. On that basis, U.S. officials have explained, Moscow would be willing to pursue a negotiated settlement in return for a cease-fire and the prestige of eventually conducting joint military operations in Syria alongside the United States against terrorist groups.
At a news conference in New York, Lavrov offered a starkly different point of view. He said it is the United States that needs to come around to the idea that President Bashar al-Assad is the only viable partner in the fight against terrorism, calling his army “the single most efficient force fighting terror in Syria.”
“Little by little, life will make everyone understand that it’s only together that you can fight terrorism,” Lavrov said.
His comments, alongside the events of the past week, suggest that Russia and Syria still believe the war can be won outright, without recourse to negotiations that the United States has said offer the only way out of the Syrian tragedy." Liz Sl at the Washpost.
Well, pilgrims, this war was always winnable. We have said that at SST for a long time and continue to believe that this is the truth. IMO the Russians have also known it was the truth but have been willing to humor the Borgist foreign policy establishments to learn what possibilities there might be for a general improvement of Russian-US relations. Having now been screwed by the US/the jihadis/and Gulfie "friends" in; a couple of ceasefires designed to allow the jihadi/unicorns to re-group and re-supply, the evidently treacherous attack on SAA forces at Deir al-Zor and the IO flim-flam over the Red Crescent convoy the Russians and their pals seem to have decided to go for the "win the war" option.
As of today, forces have been massed at Aleppo for the purpose of eliminating the East Aleppo rebel pocket. This pocket has now been without re-supply for an extended period. This is true for both the jihadi rebels and the civilian population, many of whom are rebel supporters.
IMO the main effort by R+6 is taking place at the SE side of the East Aleppo pocket. That is now underway with massive CAS from Russian aerospace forces.
At the same time Palestinian militia allies with CAS have attacked the fortified Handarat refugee camp at the NE corner of the pocket. IMO this is a secondary attack intended to prevent the rebels moving forces south to oppose the main R+6 effort.
This is an excellent plan.
At the same time there is an unconfirmed report from SOHR in London (pro-rebel) that a Russian force with 3,000 men has been positioned at al-Safir about 12 km. SE of the main attacks on the Aleppo pocket. If this report is correct this force is well positioned to reinforce the main attack or be used in a defensive move against a rebel effort elsewhere. It would be in the Russian operational tradition to pass a reinforcing "wave" or echelon of forces through the initial assault forces when they become exhausted by combat.
At the same time the remarkably ineffective Turkish/FSA effort along the Turkish border NE of Aleppo ensures the distraction of IS forces which might interfere with R+6 efforts at Aleppo City.
The foreign policy establishment (Borg) in the West wants to believe that war is obsolete as a factor in the story of humanity. People created by poly sci/ IR programs across North America and Western Europe are convinced that they are smarter, and more "evolved" than mere soldiers. They believe that they have inherited the earth and that their cleverness will always prevail over mere force.
We will now have a demonstration that this is not true. pl