Sunday, December 11, 2016


By Tony Sayegh

How much the Syrian opposition reminds me of Palestinian fighters in Lebanon when they were besieged and finally forced out of Lebanon on boats to Tunis. In both cases the fighters let themselves be trapped and cut off, in both cases there was a lot of stupid initial bravado about "fighting to the end," and in both cases the final humiliating expulsion (on condition that the fighters be disarmed) was declared as a great victory! Can you believe that? I just watched a Syrian writer who described the agreement to get the fighters out of Aleppo as a big victory because it saved the lives of the fighters! He even added that not a single Syrian should be opposed to this deal. This is stupid because if the goal was to save the lives of the fighters, then don't fight in the first place!

The leadership of the various fighting groups who are being transferred to Idlib is utterly bankrupt. What the regime and Russia are doing is to put all of them in Idlib so that Idlib will become the next Mosul or Grozny! No strategic thinking on the part of the opposition.

Even more surprising is the analysis of some pro-opposition commentators who saw in the Aleppo deal as a weakening of the Russian position! It is amazing how the Arab mind can see things upside down. Some commentators even went as far as predicting that this step will pave the way for a political deal and a return to Geneva!

Why would the regime and Russia pursue a political solution after breaking the back of the Syrian opposition? The leadership of the opposition is so stupid that they believed the Russian line that there is no military solution in Syria, when in reality Russia was pursuing precisely a military solution.

After you are defeated militarily you cannot pursue a political solution, because you are finished!

The only hope is that a totally different leadership of the opposition emerges and absorbs the terrible lessons of the defeat, and then changes course to a much smarter guerrilla war. But that will take time and I doubt if it will take place.