[Marxism] Fwd: Russia's airstrikes on Syria appear futile with little progress on ground | World news | The Guardian

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 22 05:12:01 MST 2015

Harith Abdul Baqi, 34, a military leader in Syria’s far north, said: 
“This is clearly aimed at destroying the revolution. They are using the 
Kurds [whose forces in the area are known as the PYD] as a ground force 
now, because the Syrian army has not been able to perform. This has 
surprised the Russians. They have found themselves in a swamp.

“Their goal is to allow the PYD to control the supply lines and the 
border. They also want to put pressure on Turkey, who do not want to 
lose influence so close to their frontier.

“South of Aleppo, they were making a lot of progress early in their 
campaign. The Shia militias were leading it with all of their force. But 
now they have stopped. They are going nowhere, despite far superior 
numbers and equipment.”

Opposition groups and regional diplomats say Shia militias near Aleppo 
have been dominated by Afghan Shias brought to Syria by Iran and led by 
Iranian officers and senior members of Hezbollah.

“The problem is that this is not their cause and they don’t have the 
will to fight. There have been 17 senior Iranian officers killed trying 
to instil order and discipline, including several generals. And only one 
was killed by Isis,” Baqi said.

“This isn’t going well for them. I can’t see the north settling down 
anytime soon.”


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