Wounded, a roaring lion looks westwards...
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As of now, the Free Syria Army has no proper headquarters; moreover, its Military Council has failed to unify the rebel factions. The Khalid bin Walid Brigade in Homs, the Harmoush Battalion in the Jebel al-Zawiya Mountains, and the Omari Battalion in the Hawran Plain, are practically independent from the Free Syrian Army, and unlikely to respond to an organization which doesn’t control any significant ground. Other rebel groups do not maintain any contacts with the FSA, and are still active because Assad is concentrated on what he considers the main target: the FSA. Other rebels would be smashed after the FSA disappears as a fighting force.
Syria is not Libya; the West miscalculated the attack. The Syrian army is mighty; not taking into account American special weapons, it is stronger than the Israeli one. However, this wasn’t enough to stop a slightly-disguised Western attack on Syria. Strategic allies are keeping Syria afloat. The Syrian Army gets support from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. Russia and China are constantly blocking resolutions against Syria at the UN Security Council. This means that neither the USA nor NATO will be able to attack directly. Moreover, Tarsus is one of Syria's two main ports and the only Russian navy base in the Mediterranean Sea. Russia is unlikely to give up this strategic asset for the sake of the creation of a Western puppet-regime. In other words, the Western aggression is limited to providing military help to the rebels and mercenaries.
The limited Western strength was strongly shown on June 22, 2012, an American-made Phantom F-4 jet in service of the Turkish army was downed by Syrian air defense systems (see Gul’s Goal: Turkish F-4 downed by Syria). Subsequently, the plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. The event showed everybody that the very strong Syrian air defense system is fully operative. Syria owns one of the most sophisticated systems in the Middle East; it regularly upgrades it with Russian equipment.
The Western weakness has been reported also by mainstream American media. On September 4, 2012, The New York Times, reported “Iran has resumed shipping military equipment to Syria over Iraqi airspace.” the feat was done over Iraqi airspace, avoiding the larger routes used until now. The USA has lost influence in Iraq. The latter lacks an air force, thus its skies are open to others; just another example of how violence backfires. The Americans have cleared the way for Iran. Iran looks too eager to help Syria. They are allies, Syria offers a comfy gate to the Mediterranean Sea, and a land link to the Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. Iran understands that if Syria falls, it would be the next target; hence, it helps generously.
Assad may be a wounded lion by now (“Assad” means “Lion” in Arabic), but he is rebounding. Pretty soon, the mercenaries and rebels may disappear into the desert sands that vomited them in disgust one year and seven months ago. Afterwards, Syria will begin a lengthy restoration process. Bashar al-Assad learned a painful lesson.
Apparently, this was a well-calculated Israeli provocation. Israel assumed that Syria would not react due to the ongoing protests in the country. Back then they hadn’t yet deteriorated into a war. Israel was right. Bashar al-Assad didn’t react and the event triggered the intensification of the protests. Also Israel miscalculated. One year later, we may be witnessing the end of the war in Syria. Right after that, a wounded lion will sit next to the fence delimiting its southwestern border. This time, the lion will roar.
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