The New York Times Magazine has an interesting piece about east Aleppo. Robert Worth visited it recently and talked to people there. The NYT editors/censors inserted many of their standard slander against the Syrian government, but they can not drown out the realities described therein.
Thus the piece headline: Aleppo After the Fall but one of the key sentences in it says just the opposite:
Yasser said he was one of the first people to come back [to east-Aleppo], right after what he — like everyone else I met — called the liberation.
Jihadi propaganda claims of government bombing of random hospitals without reason “verified” by a Skype call to some al-Qaeda propagandist in Idleb- are mixed with reality based on-the-ground reporting:
On my second day in the city, I went to see the Aleppo Eye Hospital, a sprawling compound that the rebels had used as a military headquarters. As we walked through the burned and shattered building, my government minder and the soldiers guarding the place kept picking up markers of the rebels’ Islamist leanings. They weren’t hard to find. A fire-blackened car out front still had the Qaeda logo on its hood. …
Unfortunately the piece also includes factual errors:
The reporter, an Aleppan named Rida al-Basha, described the neighborhoods where [looting] had taken place and named the militias, including the notorious Tiger Forces, whose leaders include well-known thugs.
I do not doubt that looting has taken place after the liberation of east-Aleppo. Those who supported the “rebel” invasion of their city will have lost everything. But looting by the Tiger Force “militia”? The Tiger Force are the Special Operations Division of the Syrian Arab Army, not a “militia”. It is led by highly professional officers, not by “thugs”. Its leader, General Suheil al-Hassan, has been in the army for over 26 years. The division is armed with Russian T-90 tanks and other heavy assault equipment. It is an offensive unit which has been very busy on various fronts. It is not a mopping up or occupation force for urban areas that would have time for organized looting in Aleppo. The quoted claim is inconsistent with those facts.
But still – the Magazine piece is filled with detailed story of real people who factually tell what the “rebels” have done to their city. How they looted every factory and house down to the copper electricity wire and sold everything off to Turkey. Wherever the story is based on real reporting it confirms the view and position of the anti-Islamist Syrian majority which supports its government. After years of claiming the opposite in its hundreds of anti-Syrian propaganda pieces one wonder how the NYT editors let this pass.
One anecdote even reveals who the Syrians will choose as their future leader:
My Syrian businessman friend told me that he twice gathered about a dozen people for dinner and offered them a hypothetical in strict confidence. It is up to you to name the next president of Syria, he said. Whom would you choose? The guests were all Syrians, and none supported the regime. To his surprise, almost all of them named Assad.
And that, dear reader, is why the U.S. and its proxies are against truly democratic elections in Syria. Their nemesis would easily win and prevent the planned neo-liberal looting of what is left of the Syrian state.
The Islamic proxy forces of the “west”, al-Qaeda under its various disguises, Ahar al-Sham and even ISIS are mostly done. The latest especially is no longer a capable military force but is reverting to guerilla levels of operation. Its final defeat will take a long time but it must and will be achieved by local forces.
Despite that the U.S. pressed on NATO members to let the NATO organization join its “fight against ISIS”. The single NATO members were already part of the U.S. coalition. But NATO as an organization brings large scale command and control capabilities as well as additional resources. (All under U.S. control.)
Make no mistake – “fighting ISIS” is not the real purpose of the move. The U.S. wants NATO support to invade Syria from the north in Idleb as well as from the south near Deraa and from the south-east starting at the al-Tanf border station to Iraq. Syria and its allies will now be fought under the disguise of “fighting ISIS” which factually can no longer be the purpose. Thus NATO, together with Wahhabi Gulf forces, will now be engaged in an expanded war not only against the Syria government but especially against its Russian and Iranian allies. Trump’s endorsement of anti-Iranian rhetoric on his visit in Saudi Arabia served a similar purpose.
Syria and its allies will try to prevent a further invasion by cutting off al-Tanf and holding on to Deraa city – thereby blocking any wider military moves. But those measures will probably be in vain. Unless some sane voices intervene we are now at the beginning of a far wider and more dangerous war that can easily slip out of anyone’s control.