All the signs are that as the partial cease-fire in Syrian Arab Republic fails and therefore the peace talks falter, the Russian military and its Syrian allies geared up for a brand new offensive in and around city.
Last week, the Pentagon said forces loyal to the Syrian government were starting “to mass and concentrate combat power around city.”
The US spokesperson said: “It is primarily al-Nusra who holds city, and, of course, al-Nusra isn’t a part of the halt of hostilities. therefore it’s difficult. We’re watching it.”
As therefore typically with recent Russian military campaigns, the media message has been discrepant with the fact of events on the ground.
In period, President Putin declared Russia was to start retreating its forces from Syria.
Some fixed-wing craft – up to about 1/2 the deployed jets – did depart from the Russian air station close to Latakia.
But their departure didn’t mark an finish to Russian military operations. faraway from it.
Russian strike missions continued; currently bolstered by the arrival of a number of the Russian military’s latest attack helicopters – the Ka-52 and therefore the Mi-28N.
So what’s going on? What modified if something after Russia’s partial withdrawal? And why are the Russians apparently gearing up for a new offensive?
For the instant, Russia’s support for President Assad remains firm. however that’s not essentially an open-ended proposition.
Russia desires to consolidate the Syrian Govt’s position – however it does not wish to stay engaged in combat in Syria forever.
Thus Russian policy operates on variety of tracks. Moscow has backed the diplomatic method. it should be failing for now, however the diplomatic effort can ought to be resumed at some point.
The Russian “withdrawal” signaled a shifting of gears within the campaign; a cue of employment at least part-done – the consolidation of the Syrian government – and a step that helped offer area for a revived diplomatic effort.
The United States has repeatedly criticized Russia’s air campaign for mostly striking at Western-backed teams fighting the Syrian government, instead of so-called IS.
Russia, of course, has said it’s mostly striking at IS and al-Nusra “terrorists”.
This is another example of the gulf between Russian rhetoric and reality.
But, as Michael Kofman, a US-based analyst with the CNA Corporation, says, a couple of week before the “withdrawal” announcement, the Russian air effort switched to mostly striking IS in and around Palmyra, yielding “a political prize and a crucial public ending for the Syrian regime and the Russian forces”.
Mr Kofman says, the arrival of a lot of attack helicopters suggests that “Russia’s military presence has expanded to many bases, since helicopters would like forward operational bases to fly from”.
United Stated & the different sources have detected Russian artillery units moving towards the Aleppo front, and groups of Russian Special Forces are thought to be operative alongside each the Syrian government and allied Hizbullah units.
Therefore, for now, all the eyes are on city.
But if Russia has shifted gears in its tactic, thus have Americans.