ISIS Nearly Defeated in Eastern Syria
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
According to Russia's Defense Ministry, "(t)he western bank of the Euphrates River will be soon fully liberated by the government forces under the command of the legendary Syrian General Sukhel…complet(ing) the operation to destroy the remaining ISIL (presence) in eastern Syria."
After liberating Abu Kamel for the second time, Syrian forces, greatly aided by Russian airpower, continue advancing along the west bank of the Euphrates River - soon to be entirely liberated from ISIS fighters.
Government forces led by General Sukhel played a major role in liberating Allepo, Deir Ezzor, Mayadin, Abu Kamel, and dozens of villages in Homs and Hama governorates.
ISIS is being systematically smashed, yet not entirely defeated in Syria. Their forces captured areas of Hama and Idlib governorates.
How long they'll hold them is another matter, government forces along with Russian airpower likely to rout them in the days and weeks ahead.
Separately, after talks with Iranian President Rouhani and Turkish President Erdogan, Putin said an all-Syria National Dialogue Congress will be held in Sochi, including representatives from the country's opposition and all sectors of Syrian society.
"We've tasked the Foreign Ministries, the representatives of special services and Defense Departments to work out the list of participants and the timing of the congress to be held here in Sochi," Putin explained.
He's hopeful for achieving longterm normalization in Syria, not easily attainable given Washington's illegal occupation of northern and southern areas, along with its rage for war and regime change.
Defeating terrorists in Syria is achievable, America's lawless occupation and continued terror-bombing a major unresolved issue.
Other obstacles remain. Erdogan rejects direct talks with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. Anti-government elements are dubious about peacemaking efforts with Damascus.
Compromise by all sides is needed, Washington the wild card, uninvolved in talks so far, wanting to control them if participate, a prescription for failure.
Rouhani blamed foreign meddling for war in Syria, including "supplying and arming and other forms of support of militant groups. These consequently formed the core of the terrorist groups Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front."
Following his meeting with Putin and Erdogan, Syria's Foreign Ministry issued the following statement:
"In light of the Syrian Arab Republic's commitment to support any political step that respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria and contributes to sparing the blood of the Syrian people, the Syrian government welcomes the final statement of the tripartite summit held today in Sochi."
Successfully liberating most parts of Syria from US-supported terrorists' control is one thing, achieving a durable peace a formidable challenge ahead - unattainable as long as Washington wants war and regime change.
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