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Terrorism in Syria Won't Be Destroyed Unless Washington 'Works With' Damascus

© Sputnik / Michael Alaeddin / Go to the photo bankRamouseh district in south Aleppo liberated by the Syrian army. (File)
Ramouseh district in south Aleppo liberated by the Syrian army. (File) - Sputnik International
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Even if the Syrian Army pushes al-Nusra Front and the like out of Aleppo, terrorist groups will not be fully destroyed because the US-led coalition "refuses to work" with Damascus and its allies, Majid Zavari, who heads the Tehran-based International Relations Think Tank, told Sputnik, offering three possible scenarios of how things could pan out.

"This intractability could cost the US dearly since terrorism does not boil down to belligerent thugs; it is a parasitic ideology that will find its supporters if its opponents are not united," he said.

In Zavari's opinion, Aleppo is of primary importance to all key stakeholders involved in the Syrian conflict due to its prime geostrategic location.

"Aleppo serves as a link between northern, northwestern and northeastern regions of the country on the one hand and central Syria on the other," he said. "In addition, the city's close proximity to Turkey has long guaranteed its status as the economic capital of the country. This has not been lost on terrorists who diverted a large part of their budget and human resources to secure control over Aleppo."

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Damascus needs to take Aleppo under control to cut militant supply routes, create a launching ground for an offensive on Idlib and use the city's liberation as leverage to force the US and Saudi Arabia to change their attitude towards Syrian authorities. Washington and its allies have long insisted that President Bashar al-Assad has to step down.

Zavari also outlined three scenarios with regard to what could happen to extremism in Syria unless the US joins its forces with Russia and Damascus in eradicating terrorist groups trying to overthrow Assad.

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The first scenario, which the analyst referred to as "dances behind the back," involves terrorist groups in Syria preparing a plan to launch an attack on Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda is ostensibly ready to support this plan, he added.

"In this case, a coalition of terrorist groups could appear that will pose a real, I would even say, physical threat to the West and the Shia," he said.

The second scenario will see existing terrorist forces morph into "extremist streams that will retain their destructive power." Zavari's third scenario mimics Afghanistan's experience in the sense that terrorist groups will be weakened for some time, but will later recover.

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