The tide is turning in favor of the Syrian Army which began to push ISIL and other jihadist groups away from key areas in Syria, including the crucial Kweiris airbase in the Aleppo province, Dr. Mohammad Marandi, an Iranian political expert on American Studies from the University of Tehran, told Radio Sputnik.
The Kweiris airbase was under ISIL siege for two-years until the Syrian Army supported by Russian airstrikes advanced into the area and cleared it of jihadists, leaving a large number of them dead and wounded in the process.
“This operation went so well, as [ISIL] casualties were very high and they were adamant that the Syrian government wouldn’t be able to break the siege at the airbase,” Marandi told Radio Sputnik.
The Iranian expert said the success of the Syrian Army wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Russian airstrikes in the country.
“The Russian Air Force has played a very important role not just in breaking the siege, but also over the last few weeks across Syria,” Marandi said, adding that Russian airstrikes targeted not only ISIL, but also other radical Islamic extremists.
Iran, Lebanon and Hezbollah have also played a role in strengthening the Syrian Army, the political expert explained. Iran, for example, sent a number of military advisers to train the Syrian army on the frontline, Marandi said.
For several years since the start of the Syrian conflict the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fought alone against all sorts of Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists, backed by foreign powers, such as the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which provided limitless funds and weapons seeking to overthrow the government of al-Assad.
“Right now, all the advanced weapons that these groups, such as al-Qaeda, have are basically American weapons,” Marandi told Radio Sputnik.
The United States and the European Union (EU) tried to portray the Syrian conflict as a sectarian conflict; however, it isn’t the case at all. The real situation on the ground shows that the overwhelming majority of Syrians support President Assad and prefer his regime over any other alternatives that the West offered.
And most importantly, Assad’s own wife is a Sunni, so how could the current president be against Sunnis, the political analyst explained.
Whether or not peace would come to Syria depends entirely on certain groups in the United States and their desire to stop funding terrorist organizations in the region. If the US government puts pressure on its allies — Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — to stop funding and arming jihadists in Syria the conflict would end, the Iranian expert concluded.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with the Syrian Army fighting a number of opposition factions and radical Islamist groups, including Islamic State and the Nusra Front.
Russia has been conducting precision airstrikes against terrorist targets in Syria at the request of President Bashar Assad since September 30.