Aleppo war is Syria’s battle of destiny

TEHRAN (Basirat)- The province is vital for the warring parties as it determines the destiny of the ongoing war in the Arab country. Maybe the reason behind the failure to establish a permanent truce there is that the strategically important province dictates something else to the both sides.

The province is vital for the warring parties as it determines the destiny of the ongoing war in the Arab country. Maybe the reason behind the failure to establish a permanent truce there is that the strategically important province dictates something else to the both sides.

It is unlikely that a stable ceasefire will take hold in Aleppo province and its surrounding areas which have now turned into the focal point of clashes in Syria. The province is vital for the warring parties as it determines the destiny of the ongoing war in the Arab country. Maybe the reason behind the failure to establish a permanent truce there is that the strategically important province dictates something else to the both sides.

What we are seeing in Syria is a battle between the Syrian army along with popular forces with terrorist groups, including Daesh, al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The terrorist groups, by trying to turn Aleppo into the focus of the clashes, are pursuing the following objectives:

1. Establishing dominance over more areas in northern Syria and therefore changing the balance of military power to their interest.
2. Gaining more access to Turkey, which is being used as a route for smuggling oil and ancient artifacts to other countries. Turkey is also one of the major logistic paths being used to send aid to the terrorists.

3. Expanding territories for terrorist groups.
Strategic importance and geopolitics of Aleppo
The reason behind turning Aleppo into the primary focus of the battle is that this province is strategically important both to the Syrian army and the terrorists. It would not be an overstatement to say that the side which wins Aleppo war, will actually win the entire war.

1. Economic situation: Aleppo is Syria’s largest province. It is also an important economic pole of the Arab country. It accommodates various religious minorities and cults. The enemy is attempting to create division between popular forces and the army using the diversity of religious belief systems.

2. Geostrategic importance of Aleppo and troops’ deployment: Some parts of Aleppo province share border with Turkey and its western borders are close to Daesh positions. Therefore, the recapture of this city by each of the three sides, namely the Syrian government, opposition groups (led by the FSA) and different Takfiri groups (led by Daesh) will be the ultimate victory for them.

3. Military situation: From among the military facilities based in Aleppo, we can refer to the Syrian Air Force’s Taftanaz airbase located in southwestern Aleppo. Another military base which is near the city is al-Jarrah airbase which is a key base also belonging to the army. Late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad had received his military training at this base.

Additionally, Kweiris military airbase, defense industries and military colleges in Aleppo have turned it into the most important area for supporting the Syria Army in northern Syria.
4. The geopolitics of Aleppo: Aleppo is linked to Turkey from north, to Nusra Front terrorist-held Idlib from west, to Syrian Kurdish areas from east and to central areas like Damascus, Hama and Homs from South. This geopolitical situation has given this chance to backers of the terrorists to extend their support using this city.

Aleppo fronts

In general, we can divide Aleppo into three fronts:   1)  Northern areas which are mainly controlled by Kurdish people. The two areas of Afrin
and Kobani which are main entrances to Turkey are located in these areas. Daesh Takfiri group has an active presence in this area.   2)  Central and southern areas which are mainly under the control of the Syrian army and resistance forces.  3)  Western and southwestern areas which are held by terrorist groups. Al-Nusra Front has a strong presence in this area.

The US and its regional allies are well aware that an end to the Aleppo war and its full recapture from the terrorists mean an end to the Syrian crisis and also to a Western-Hebrew-Arab plot aimed at disintegrating Syria and overthrowing the government. In addition, raising issues like declaring ceasefire and enforcing the so-called “regime of calm” in Aleppo are not beneficial to the army and resistance forces and, in fact, such moves will buy time for the terrorist groups and will allow them to reinforce their troops.

This article was written by Mohammad Reza Farhadi for Basirat.ir on May 6, 2016.